Do you spend all day sitting? These hip stretches are a must for you.
When you spend all day sitting, the hip flexors become tight.
When they become tight, they affect other areas of our bodies, like our lower back.
If you neglect to stretch the stiff hips, they can lead to a decrease in the range of motion, which consequently leads to more back pain.
Luckily, you can help reverse the stiff hips by adding stretching to your daily routine.
Research shows the range of motion of those experiencing tight hip flexors improves from stretching.
All it takes is 5 to 10 minutes per day to stretch.
Performing a few hip flexor stretches can help loosen the muscle tightness and prevent pain in your back and other areas of the body.
They also help build strength in all adjacent muscles such as glutes, hamstrings, adductors, back, and core.
They can also lead to better mobility, stability, flexibility, and functionality.
This is especially important if you are in your 50s and beyond.
If you’ve been experiencing the nagging pain in your back or constantly feeling the stiffness in your hips, take it as a cue.
Take just a few minutes out of your day to step away from your desk to do these simple moves to decompress the hard-pressed hips.
Oftentimes, that’s enough to combat the pain temporarily and even prevent hip problems in the future.
To help you reduce the damage of sitting and improve your hip flexibility, I’ll share 4 hip flexor stretches you can do every day.
You can do this 4-move stretch routine daily at home with no equipment.
All you need is some open space, a flat surface, and a thick yoga mat for your comfort.
You’ll also like:
- 9 Hip-Opening Yoga Poses to Help Stretch Your Tight Hips & Lower Back
- New to Yoga? These 24 Yoga Poses for Beginners Will Get You Started
1. Bridge Pose
If lower back pain has been a constant area of struggle, the chances are that you have weak back, glutes, and core muscles.
When you lack strength in those stabilizing muscles, the lumbar vertebrae don’t get proper support. This inevitably makes your back prone to the nagging constant pain.
One way to address this issue is to perform the glute bridge exercise.
The glute bridge is one simple exercise that stretches the hip flexors at the top of the pose while strengthening your glutes and back.
As you come up to the bridge pose, your hip flexors are fully stretched and lengthened. This is essential for those who tend to be sedentary during the day and spend hours sitting.
The move also recruits all the muscles in the butt, hamstrings, core, and back. It’s a great stretching and strengthening exercise that’s equipment free and home-friendly.
But to use this stretch to rehabilitate your hips and back, it’s essential you perform this with proper form.
Here is how to properly perform a glute bridge hold.
- On a thick yoga mat, lie on your back with your feet flat on the mat. Bend your knees and adjust your feet so they are about hip-width apart. Rest your arm at your sides and keep your shoulders on the mat. Engage your core and glutes.
- Raise your hips until your pelvis lines up with your body. From your knees to shoulders, it should be forming a straight line.
Don’t over-extend your back as you raise your hips.
- Hold at the top. Feel the contraction in your glutes for 30 seconds and release. You may gently wiggle your hips side to side at the top for stretch. Return to the original position.
2. Low Lunge
The hip-opening low lunge is a popular yoga pose that truly addresses the tightness in your hips.
It’s one move that helps you lengthen all the major muscles in your lower body including the hips, quads, hamstrings, back, and glutes.
This stretch helps support the connection between your lower back and hips. If you regularly perform yoga, it’ll help you in your backbends and other twists and turns in yoga.
The low lunge is also one efficient move that stretches different muscles in your front and back leg.
While the front leg should feel a nice stretch in the calf, hamstring, and glute, the back leg concentrates on the adductor, hip flexor, and glutes.
Indirectly, it also engages the muscles in your abs, core, and back.
Here is how to perform a low lunge.
- On a yoga mat, get on your hands and knees. Bring your right foot to the front between your hands. Bend your front knee, so the right thigh is parallel to the floor.
- Slide your other foot back so your shin rests on the mat and your thigh is at a 45-degree angle from the mat.
- Gently press your weight forward, so your back leg gets straightened. Feel the stretch in your left leg’s front hip. Hold the position for a few seconds and return to the starting position.
- Switch sides and repeat.
3. Seated Butterfly
If you thought the seated butterfly is just for kinder-gardeners, then you are missing out. This gentle practice is an excellent stretch for your tight hip flexors.
It comes with immense benefits for those who sit for hours every day.
If you also have a sensitive back, this is one exercise that does not put pressure on your back.
This is also a great post-workout stretch that relieves stiffness in your lower body including the hips and enhances your flexibility.
Here is how to perform a seated butterfly.
- Sit on a yoga mat with your knees bent and your feet on the mat. Keep your feet together and bring them in closer to your body.
- Unfold the knees and slowly open your legs so that the soles of your feet come together. Grab your feet with your hands and lean forward until you feel the stretch in your hips flexors.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds and feel the stretch.
If there is one truly effective stretch that’s greatly underutilized, that’s this lizard stretch.
The lizard pose is an immensely beneficial stretch for your tight hips, hamstrings, and quads. It’s similar to the pigeon pose but takes one step further.
The stretch is done in a flow that moves from Downward Dog to the final lizard position. It’s a calming routine in itself and very proactive in touching almost every muscle in your body.
Primarily, this pose stretches your thighs and hip flexors, but it also engages the calves, adductors, quads, glutes, and core. Stretching your hip muscles also helps relieve the tension in your lower back.
Here is how to perform a lizard stretch.
- On a yoga mat, start in the Downward Dog position with your feet and hands on the mat and your hips pointing to the ceiling. Feel the stretch in your back and hamstrings in this pose.
- Step forward with your right foot to the outside of your right hand. Get into a low lunge position by lowering your left knee to the mat and gently pressing your hips forward.
- One hand at a time, lower onto your forearms. Adjust your body so that your back is flat and not sagging.
- Feel the stretch in the hips, glutes, core, quads, and hamstrings.
Hold the pose for a few seconds and return to the starting position.
Switch sides and repeat.