The Hip Stretches We All Need In Our Life
Tight hips are fairly common these days – many of us spend long periods sitting down and during this time our hip flexors are in a shortened position. Doing this over many hours, days and weeks is what leads to extremely tight muscles. This is why regular stretching, along with regular movement in general is so important. Unfortunately, tight hips can create a whole host of other issues which go beyond just basic discomfort and can even increase our likelihood of getting injured. Often feeling pain or discomfort in one area can be the result of lack of mobility and flexibility in another area, e.g. knee or back pain can often be linked to tight hips. To help, we’ve worked up a short routine of our favourite hip stretches and mobility drills which you can do anywhere, anytime.
Deep Lunges with Thoracic Rotation
- Bring yourself to the ground and enter a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your legs extended directly behind you. This is your start position.
- Keeping you core braced, bring your left leg forward until your knee is by your armpit with your left foot flat on the ground. Gently lift your left hand from the floor and reach your arm up towards the sky, fully extended.
- Pause in this position and then return to the start position. Repeat the same sequence on the other leg. Repeat this alternating pattern for 45-60 seconds.
Quadruped Hip CARs
- Come into an all fours position on an exercise mat with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Maintaining a 90-degree bend at the knee and without rounding your back, slowly move it outwards until it’s almost parallel to your hip.
- Keeping the knee there, slowly rotate the hip inwards until your foot is pointing towards the sky. Try not to over-arch the back at this point in the exercise.
- Gradually, and with control, drive the leg back, keeping the knee at a right angle and level with the rest of the body. Slowly drive the knee forward to return to the start position.
- Then repeat the steps above in reverse. This counts as one rep. Repeat for 60 seconds on each leg.
90/90 with Forward Hinge
- Come to a seated position on an exercise mat with your back straight and chest lifted. Place both your legs in front of you, with your knees bent and feet firmly on the floor. Your feet should be wider than hip width.
- Keeping your knees bent at 90 degrees, twist your hips to the right, letting your knees slowly lower to your right side aswell, until they are both touching the floor.
- Place your right hand on the floor for support, whilst bringing your left arm directly out to the side of you and level with your shoulders for stability. Keeping your chest lifted and a neutral spine, hinge from the hips and lean your torso forward over your right leg. Pause at your end range and then lift the torso back up.
- Repeat this hingeing motion 4-6 times before reverse the movement on the way back to the start position and performing the same sequence on the other side. Repeat for 60 seconds.
- Start by standing facing away from a wall. Come into a half-kneeling position with your right leg elevated and a 90-degree angle at the knee.
- Place your left knee a few inches away from the wall with your foot pointing straight up and resting against the wall. Be sure to keep left thigh in line with your body and shin.
- Bring your torso upright and tuck your pelvis forward. You should feel a deep stretch in your quad and hip flexor. If the stretch is too intense increase the distance between the wall and your back knee.
- The more flexible you are the closer your back knee should be able to get to wall whilst still maintaining a fully upright position and neutral spine. Hold for the 45-60 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
- Come into an all fours position on an exercise mat with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
- Take your knees outwards as far as you can, keeping a 90-degree angle at the knee and with feet flared out so that the insides of your feet are touching the floor.
- Push your hips backwards and sit in between your ankles. Rock the hips back and forth, holding at times where you feel tension.
- Repeat for 60 seconds.
Hip Flexor Stretch
- Come into a half-kneeling position with your left leg elevated. Keeping your torso upright, place your hands on your hips with your thumbs resting on the front of your hips.
- Use your hands to help tilt your pelvis forwards, tucking your hips underneath your body into a posterior pelvic tilt. Squeeze your glutes to feel the stretch in your hip flexors.
- To deepen the stretch drive your hips forward but be sure to maintain a posterior pelvic tilt. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Supine Pigeon Stretch
- Lie flat on your back on an exercise mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your left leg and cross it over your right leg, so that your ankle is resting on your lower thigh.
- At the same time lift your right foot off the floor, bringing your right knee towards your chest. Clasp your hands together underneath your right thigh.
- Use your hands to pull your right leg towards your chest, at the same time trying to keep your lower back pressed into the floor and using your left elbow to push your left knee away from you.
- You should feel a deep stretch in your glute and hamstring. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.