Hip stretches – If you spend a lot of time sitting (I’m talking to you, fellow desk-job-workers), your hips have probably let you know that they’re not happy about it.
In fact, I don’t know too many people who couldn’t benefit from doing hip stretches on the regular.
Though you might specifically be thinking about your hip flexors when you complain about tight or cranky hips, they’re not the only muscle around that joint that needs some love.
In fact, your glutes, which help extend your hips, are also an important part of the equation.
The more time you spend sitting, the tighter your hip flexors get. Meanwhile, your glutes become less and less able to fire up properly.
It’s a recipe for a whole lotta discomfort. You might experience lower back and knee pain; since both of these areas compensate for dysfunction and weakness in the hips.
It should come as no surprise, then, that hip-focused stretches and strength moves should make regular appearances in your workout routine. Before exercise; a warmup that starts with a bit of cardio to get your blood flowing followed by a few dynamic stretches; which basically grease up creaky hips.
Then, after your sweat, wind down with a few static stretches to thank your muscles and hip joints for working for you.
In addition to adding the following hip stretches for women to your warmups and cool-downs; you can also string a few of them together for quick stretch breaks throughout the day.
I guarantee your hips with thank you big time.
Time: 5 minutes
Good for: hips
Instructions: Choose three static and/or dynamic hip stretches from the list below.
Hold or perform each for 20 to 30 seconds, repeat on the opposite side if necessary, then continue onto the next. Once you’ve completed all three stretches; repeat twice more for a total of three hip-opening rounds.
ALSO READ: Benefits of plank exercises
How to: Start standing at front of mat with feet under hips and arms at sides.
Fold forward, place fingers on floor, and step left foot to back far enough that right knee can bend to 90 degrees.
Lift torso up until shoulders stack over hips, then extend arms overhead.
How to: Start in a standing position, with feet just wider than hips. Bend arms and place hands behind head.
Pull right foot up off floor, bending knee and drawing it in towards chest, out to side of body, and back down to the starting position.
Repeat with left leg and continue.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
How to: Start in a kneeling position with right foot forward and left knee on floor.
Press hips forward slightly, engaging left glute and core to release left hip.
Alternating Low Lunge with Rotation
How to: From a high plank, bend left knee, and bring left foot forward to rest outside of left hand.
Then, lift left arm into the air and twist torso toward left leg.
Replace hand on floor and step back to high plank, then repeat on right side and continue.
How to: Start in a forward fold. Then, step left foot backward until leg is straight.
Tuck left toes and keep heel high while bending right knee to 90 degrees and lifting up to balance on fingertips.
Lower back knee and shin onto mat and sink hips forward.
How to: Start standing with feet wider than hips.
Bend right knee, leaving left leg straight, and reach down toward right toes with left hand.
Then, keeping hips low, bend left knee and straighten right leg to reach toward left toes with right hand. Repeat.
How to: Start lying on back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms at sides.
Draw knees toward chest outside of ribs with legs bent and soles of feet facing ceiling.
Bring arms inside of legs and grab big toes. Gently pull knees toward floor.
How to: Start standing position with feet wider than hips.
Bend arms and place hands behind head. Bend right knee and lift right leg up toward elbow.
Return to standing, repeat with left leg, and continue.
How to: Start seated with legs together and bent, feet flat on the floor, hands hugging knees, and spine long. Open legs like a book, bring soles of feet together, and grasp toes.
Push knees down toward mat and reach chest forward slightly.
Hip Flexor Rainbow
How to: Start in a half-kneeling position with left foot forward and right leg back with right knee, shin, and foot flat on mat. Press hips forward slightly, rest right hand on left thigh, and reach left arm straight out in front of you. From here, reach left hand back toward right foot, keeping arm straight. Then, extend left arm back out in front of torso, and repeat.
Don’t forget to repeat on the other side!