6 Hip Flexor Stretches to Improve Strength and Flexibility

Do you ever feel tension around your hips? If you have hip discomfort, you might have tight hip flexors. One of the biggest causes of tight hip flexors is spending a lot of time sitting. That’s why stretching your hips and strengthening this area of your body is so important. Another reason it is essential to stretch your hip flexors is to ward off an injury when you are working out and to stay flexible.

What are hip flexors?

Most people know muscles like their biceps, quads, or glutes. But your hip flexors are a major group of muscles that run along your upper thigh and include part of your quadriceps. These muscles help you move your hips when you walk, run, bend at the waist, and raise your legs.

When these muscles are tight, it can lead to pain in your lower back and other areas of the body. This is because the lower back connects to your legs at the hip. When your hip flexors are tight, it’s harder for your pelvis to move. That’s when your back picks up the slack, leading to pain and discomfort. Tight hip flexors make your glutes have to work harder too, increasing the likelihood of injury and fatigue in other areas of your body – even your knees and hamstrings.

When your hips are stretched properly, you have enough mobility to do a range of exercises with a reduced risk of injury, including squats and leg lifts. Plus, when your hip flexors are stretched properly, your legs can absorb force better while working out. In a nutshell, stretching your hip flexors strengthens not only your hips but other parts of your body by reducing impact and pressure.

woman stretching tight hips

What are the benefits of hip stretches?

There are many stretches to work your hip flexor muscles that you can do to minimize discomfort, reduce tightness, and improve your mobility. Stretching is a great way to make these muscles work for you and your body and to improve the quality of your workouts.

Here are 6 hip stretches that you can do to improve your hip flexors. Complete them daily or after a workout to strengthen your hips.

Butterfly stretch

This stretch is an easy one to start with after a workout. You can also do it during the workday if you need a break from sitting.

How to complete:

  1. Sit on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together.
  2. Move your heels as close to your body as you can.
  3. Straighten your back and lean forward.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times or until you feel comfortable.
  5. For a deeper stretch, push down on your thighs with your elbows.
woman doing butterfly pose

    Knee-to-Chest Stretch

    This move will stretch your lower back, hips, and hamstrings.

    How to complete:

    1. Lie flat on your back and extend both legs.
    2. Pull your left knee to your chest. Keep the right leg straight.
    3. Keep your lower back pressed to the floor.
    4. Hold for up to two minutes.
    5. Repeat on the other side.
    knee to chest stretch

    Three-Legged Dog

    This move is a version of the yoga pose downward facing dog that stretches your hips, shoulders, hamstrings, and back.

    How to complete:

    1. Start in downward facing dog position with your head between your arms.
    2. Lift one leg off the floor and extend it high with your knee as straight as possible.
    3. Switch between pointing your foot and flexing.
    4. Hold for up to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
    three legged dog stretch

    Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

    This stretch works your hips, quads, and glutes. Complete it before or after a workout. This is also a great stretch to wake up with in the morning.

    How to complete:

    1. Kneel on your left knee with your right foot flat on the floor, knee bent.
    2. Lean forward gently, stretching your left hip toward the floor.
    3. To stretch your hip flexor more, squeeze your butt.
    4. Hold for up to two minutes.
    5. Repeat on the other side.
    forward lunge pose

    Happy Baby Pose

    This is a simple move that stretches the inner thigh muscles or the hip adductors.

    How to complete:

    1. Lie on the floor with both knees bent and your feet flat.
    2. Lift your feet and grab the outsides of your feet.
    3. Slowly pull your feet toward your chest.
    4. Lower your knees toward the floor on both sides of your body.
    5. Hold for five breaths.
    6. Stop and repeat.
    happy baby pose

    Bridge Pose

    This move takes the pressure off of your hip flexors by strengthening the glutes.

    How to complete:

    1. Life faceup on your back with your arms extended by your sides.
    2. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.
    3. Press your feet down to lift your hips up.
    4. Walk your feet toward your body for a few steps, keeping your feet and knees hip-width apart.
    5. Clasp your hands together under your body and press your fist down.
    6. Hold for five breaths.
    bridge pose

    The bottom line: stretching your hip flexors can improve flexibility and reduce the likelihood of injury while working out. They’re also a great option if you spend a lot of time sitting during the day.

    Looking for more fitness tips? Check out the Teami lifestyle blog to spark more ideas for healthy living!

    Adi Arezzini

    Love,
    Adi Arezzini | @adiarezzini
    Co-Founder + CEO, Teami Blends
    Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach


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