Tight hips are never pleasant and if you’re stuck sitting at a desk all day, the chances are 9/10 you probably get them. If you’ve had no luck either using a foam roller or massage gun to ease the pain away, then these mobility expert-approved stretches may just do the trick.
“Having tight hips often leads to upstream and downstream issues in the body says Cody Mooney, Director of Performance for the mobility and recovery app, pliability. "It can cause over compensation from other areas of the body such as the lower back, shoulders, etc, therefore hip mobility isn't just for the sake of your hips themselves.”
According to Cody the biggest culprit is sitting at a desk for too long, but also not warming down properly after a workout. "Excessive sitting will cause tightness in the hips, which will cause pain elsewhere in the body. But not stretching properly after a workout can lead to muscle stiffness, so it’s important to get at least 5-10 minutes in post-workout!" Luckily, the stretches Cody has shared below will take you roughly around this time, so grab an exercise mat and give them a go.
1. Dragon pose
Good for: Releasing tightness in the hips and quads
- Stand upright and take one small step forward into a lunge
- Reach up with both hands, push your hips forward, while keeping your core tight and not over-extending out of your back, lean away from your back leg, feeling a stretching sensation in your hip flexor area
Hold this stretch for about 20 to 30 seconds and repeat at least two to three times on each side.
2. Couch stretch
Good for: Opening the hips
- Keeping your core engaged, move your left knee backward, positioning it as close to the couch as you can - your left foot and shin will rest against the couch, and your lower left leg will point toward the ceiling
- Keeping your hands on the ground for support, step your right foot forward. Plant your foot on the ground to enter a kneeling position. Your right knee should be bent at roughly 90 degrees, with your ankle positioned beneath your knee
- Keeping your core engaged, lift your torso, and come to an upright kneeling position and place your hands on your hips and press your left hip forward, squeezing your glutes while your core is tight, only go as deep into the stretch as you can without breaking good positioning and arching the back
Complete for one to two minutes each side and don’t overextend your back.
3. Sumo Squat
Good for: Activating the muscle groups throughout your lower body, including your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, lower-back, and your hip flexors.
- Start from a standing position with your feet wider than your hips
- Squat down as low as you can go
- Press your elbows into your inner knee and press your hands together
- Allow your hips to sink toward the ground while keeping your chest up
Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.
4. Pigeon Pose
Good for: Releasing the hips and lower back muscles to give better flexibility and decrease tension.
- Start on all fours, bend your knee and begin to cross it forward in front of your other leg
- Keeping the back leg straight, square your hips towards the front and bring your torso down into a forward bend over your leg - if you can, maintain a 90-degree angle with your front leg. If you are feeling any pressure in the knee or having trouble keeping the 90-degree angle, slide your foot closer to your body and feel the stretch in your hip
Spend 1-2 minutes on each side slowly moving between pushing your chest to your knee for 10 seconds then releasing.
5. Puppy Dog Pose
Good for: Releasing tension throughout the full body, including lower back and shoulders, as well as the hip flexors.
- Kneel on the floor with your toes together and your knees hip-width apart. Rest your palms on top of your thighs.
- On an exhale, lower your torso between your knees, keeping your hips high. Extend your arms alongside your torso with your palms facing down. Relax your shoulders toward the ground.
Hold this for 30 seconds to 1 minute.