Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat tight hips exercise

How to Fix Tight Hips with 10 Simple Stretches for Beginners

Have you ever been told during a Yoga class or fitness program that you have ‘tight hips’? Tight hips are a common problem in our modern world. If you spend a lot of time sitting during your day – commuting to and from work, sitting at a desk and then collapsing on the couch at home, then your hip joints are bent for most of the day. This means that the muscles at the front of your hips are held in a shortened position and without the stimulus of standing and moving your hips regularly. Your body assumes that you only need a limited amount of hip movement and adjusts the length of the muscles around them accordingly.

Over time, hip muscles become relaxed and weak which leads to muscle tightness, inflexibility and back pain. It can also cause pain in your knees too, plus issues with your posture. It can also set you up for injuries to your knee, foot or ankle.

How do you know if you have tight hips?

Lie on your back and use your hands to pull one of your knees towards your chest. Hold your knee still and relax your other leg. If the bottom knee starts to bend as you pull the other knee to your chest, it may indicate tight hip flexors.

Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat hip flexor test

Symptoms of tight hips

Most people have shortened hip flexors from sitting all day long and don’t even realize it!

Tight hips can be evidenced by:

  • Reduced or a lack of mobility when you attempt to jump, kick or run
  • Stiffness or tightness after you’ve been sitting for a long time
  • Lower back pain
  • Tightness around the neck
  • A sharp or sudden pain in the hip, pelvis or groin area
  • Cramping, tender or sore muscles along the upper leg
  • Muscle spasms in the hips or thighs

How to Improve Tight Hips

In general, stretches designed to lengthen muscles and lessen tension help strengthen the hip flexors and prevent injuries long term. Engaging the hips with counteracting movement, including cycling and swimming can also help strengthen this area.

The good news is that there are plenty of good hip flexor stretches. Since your hips are involved in so many of the movements you make (both inside and outside of the gym) stretching them is a great way to keep them feeling good and ready to work for you.

The Shanti-Som Wellness team have put together these very simple stretches that are perfect to end your workout or for beginners. With just 10 minutes a day you will start to feel the difference in 2 to 4 weeks if you practice 5 days a week.

  1. Figure Four Stretch

  • Lie on your back with your knees bend and feet flat on the floor.
  • Cross your right foot over your left knee,
  • Hold the back of your left leg with both hands and gently pull it toward your chest. You should feel a deep stretch in the right side of your hip.
  • When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there for 30 seconds. Take deep breaths.
  • Return to the original position, switch sides and repeat

Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat figure 4 stretch

  1. Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Kneel on your right knee. Place your left foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent.
  • Lean forward slightly, stretching your right hip toward the floor.
  • Squeeze your butt; this will allow you to stretch your hip flexor even more.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat lunging hip flexor

  1. Reclining Angle Bound Pose

  • Lie on your back.
  • Bring the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to open up and move closer to the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat reclining angle pose

  1. Knee-to-Chest Stretch

  • Lie on your back with both legs extended.
  • Pull your right knee into your chest, while keeping the left leg straight and your lower back pressed into the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat knee to chest stretch

  1. Double Hip Rotation

  • Lie flat on the back. Bend the knees and bring them towards your body until the feet are flat on the floor.
  • Gently rotate the knees to the left, lowering them toward the floor. Rotate the head to face the right while keeping the shoulders against the floor.
  • Hold this position for 20–30 seconds.
  • Slowly return both the head and knees to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat double hip rotation

  1. High Crescent Lunge

  • Take a big step forward with your left foot into a lunge, with your feet almost mat-length apart.
  • Bend your front knee and keep your back leg straight and heel lifted off the floor. Try to bend your front leg so that your thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Square your hips toward the front.
  • Extend your arms toward the ceiling on either side of your head and stretch up. Press into the mat and feel the stretch in your hips.
  • Hold for at least 5 breaths and then repeat on the other side.

Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat crescent pose

  1. Lizard Pose

  • From a low lunge, walk your left foot out wide to the edge of your mat. Place both your hands on the floor on the inside of your left foot. You can hold there if that’s enough of a stretch for you.
  • If you’re looking for a deeper stretch, you can place your forearms on the floor.
  • For an even deeper stretch roll onto the outer edge of your left foot, letting your knee open away from your body. Keep your right hand on the floor for support, and use the left to gently press your left knee away from your body.
  • Hold for at least 5 breaths and then repeat on the other side.

Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat lizard lunge

  1. Yoga Squat

  • From a seated position, place your feet wider than shoulder width apart, feet flat on the floor, toes facing out.
  • Place your hands in prayer position in front of your chest
  • Use your elbows to press your knees open.
  • Hold for at least 5 breaths.

Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat yoga squat pose

  1. Bridge Pose

  • Lie faceup, arms extended by your sides, knees bent so that your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Press through your heels to lift your hips up, and walk your feet in a few steps toward your body, keeping your feet and knees hip-width apart and your feet directly underneath your knees.
  • Interlace your fingers underneath your body and press your fist into the mat.
  • Hold for at least 5 breaths.
  1. Happy Baby Pose

  • Lie faceup with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift your feet off the floor and grab the outside edges of your feet with your hands.
  • Gently pull your feet toward your chest and let your knees lower toward the floor on either side of your body. Keep your back flat on the floor.
  • Hold for at least 5 breaths.

Shanti-Som Wellbeing Retreat happy baby pose

Conclusion on how to fix tight hips 

Gently stretching and exercising the hips can help relieve pain, increase mobility, and strengthen muscles. There are many exercises to choose from, but once you have found the stretch routines that work then it is best to incorporate it into your daily routine.

Yoga provides many advantages for clients who struggle with hip pain or stiffness from tight muscles. The poses help open the hips and helps strengthen the hip flexor muscles. If you are a beginner or are interested to learn more on how to release tight hips, our Yoga instructors are highly experienced and can provide personalised classes to address your concerns. Contact Us to learn more about or Yoga Retreats and other programs to help improve mobility, flexibility and fitness.

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