How To Stretch Hips 2023: 4 Stretches To Release Tight Hips

Reviewed by Elizabeth Gonzalez Cueto, MD

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how to stretch hips

The hip is an essential part of the body, which supports the upper body region, allowing humans to engage in various movements or activities. Some of these movements include; squatting, walking, jumping, and running. As a result, it is crucial to stretch the hip to enhance body flexibility and mobility. A flexible body can easily engage in daily activities, making stretching vital for sedentary individuals.

Several stretches can improve your performance level, including lower back stretches. This stretch will remove the pain and discomfort that may have resulted from a prolonged sitting period. Therefore, you must strive to incorporate regular hip stretches into your fitness routine.

In this article, you shall discover how to stretch hips. These processes are simple, and do not require a vigorous or costly exercise routine.

How To Stretch The Hips

Below are common ways to stretch your hips:

  • Knee-to-chest stretch
  • Low lunge twist stretch
  • Butterfly stretch
  • Side-lying hip flexor stretch
how to stretch hips
Practicing hip stretches regularly can help to improve flexibility and reduce tightness of the hip.

What Does Having Tight Hips Mean?

Tight hips refer to extreme pain or discomfort in the hip, which affects the whole leg. This happens when the hip muscles are highly tensed and non-flexible. The primary hip flexors[1] that enable flexible movement include:

  • Rectus femoris
  • Sartorius
  • Tensor fasciae latae
  • Iliopsoas

Unfortunately, people gradually get used to tight hips. It becomes normal In the workplace, a  tight hip can expose an individual to injury resulting from the high tissue demand in the affected area.

Causes Of Tight Hips

Even though most tight hips result from prolonged inactivity, research revealed[2] that athletes are also victims of strained muscles. Thus, examining the causes of tight hips shouldn’t be limited to a sedentary lifestyle. As long as the hip flexors are overworked, it will negatively affect the body’s movement. Thus, understanding what causes flexor rigidity is crucial in stretching your hips effectively.

  • Age: Hip flexibility is naturally affected by age as the muscle gets weaker. A study[3] showed that about half of Australians above 70 are going through some disability. It was also discovered that older adults with strong cardiovascular systems devote themselves to regular exercise.
  • Stress: When your body is intensely stressed, molecules, causing the affected area to swell. Thus, tension in the hip flexor or muscle may cause high discomfort or pain.
  • Lack of stretching or exercise: Not engaging in regular exercise can cause muscle stiffness, including the hip region. You must learn how to stretch your lower back and hips to boost your body activity level.
  • Genetics: According to the report[4] from Better Health Channel, children undergo irritable hip syndrome due to genetics. Coupled with pain-relief medications, individuals suffering from the irritable hip syndrome are encouraged to exercise regularly at an early age.

Benefits Of Hip Stretches

Below are reasons why hip stretches are essential.

  • Improved flexibility: Stretching your hip increases your body flexibility and helps you extend your mobility range. This can also reduce tension and pain around your hip region. 
  • Increased circulation: Stretching helps to circulate blood to vital organs of the body properly. According to research[5] from the University of Milian in Italy, a 12-week stretching regimen helps decrease the arteries’ stiffness. This promotes healing and reduces inflammation, ensuring proper body functioning.
  • Reduces risk of injury: When the hip muscle weakens, the victim is at higher risk of injury. Thus, stretching is crucial in alleviating stress and reducing the risk of injury.
  • Improves athletic performance: Field activities alone cannot be used to judge an excellent athletic performance. This is why medical experts encourage athletes to strengthen their muscles through stretching.
  • Reduces back pain: When the hip is tight or inflexible, it strains the back, as the body demands extra effort from the spine. A smooth flow of blood circulation can effectively strengthen the spine and back muscles. You may also use the best pre-workouts supplement for enhanced back engagement while stretching.

4 Stretches To Release Tight Hips

Knowing how to stretch hips is not as complex as you may have thought. Various processes are involved, so you can choose the one you are most comfortable with.

Knee-to-Chest Stretch

how to stretch hips
A person performing a knee-to-chest stretch by pulling one knee towards their chest while keeping the other leg straight on the floor.

This stretch targets the muscles in your hips and lower back. Here’s how to do it:

  • Spread a comfortable material on the floor, a yoga mat. However, the mat is optional if you exercise on a carpeted floor. 
  • Lay on your back and bend one knee, leaving the other leg to rest on the floor at an angle of 90.
  • Bring the knee close to your chest and keep the other leg flat on the surface.
  • Wrap your hands around the knee to provide more stability. While doing this, you may feel a stretch in your hips[6] and lower back.
  • Stay in this position for 15 to 30 seconds while slowly breathing in and out.
  • Slowly lower your leg and repeat the same process with the other legs.

Low Lunge Twist Stretch

how to stretch hips
A person performing a low lunge twist stretch by placing one foot forward and twisting the torso towards the side of the forward leg, while keeping the back leg extended behind.

Do you ever ask; is yoga good for weight loss? The low lunge twist stretch is a form of yoga that may surface when researching how to stretch tight hips. However, this stretch requires that you move slowly to avoid hurting yourself. 

The low lunge twist stretch can promote relaxation and improve spinal mobility by following these processes.

  • Start by facing downward and kneeling on one foot, and ensure it’s parallel to the ground.
  • Extend the other leg and let it be directly above the bent knee.
  • Inhale, lift your chest and breathe out while twisting your waist towards the right side.
  • Place your hand on the extended leg and raise the other arm towards the ceiling.
  • Keep your hips level and sink into the stretch. You would feel the twist in your spine and stretch in your hamstrings and hips.
  • Remain in the position for a few seconds, then repeat the exercise alternating the leg’s roles.

Butterfly Stretch

This is one of the simplest methods when researching how to stretch hips. Even though this stretch is easy to implement, it works effectively on the hips, groin, and inner thighs. The butterfly stretch also helps to prepare the musculoskeletal system[7] and improve the body’s metabolism. 

  • Sit on the floor, and extend your leg in front of you.
  • Let your soles touch each other, and bring your feet closer to your hip to intensify the stretch effect.
  • Make sure to bring your heels to your body as comfortably as possible.
  • Hold onto your feet or ankles with your hands.
  • Use your elbows to hold your knees toward the ground. 
  • Keep your spine tall and straight, and relax your shoulders away from your ear.
  • Breathe deeply while stretching yourself for about 20 seconds.
  • Slowly release yourself, lifting your knees and extending your legs in front of you.

Side-Lying Hip Flexor Stretch

The side-lying hip flexor stretch is another joint exercise that will pop up on your screen while searching for how to stretch hips[8]. Also, this stretch targets the hip flexors and quadriceps muscles in front of the thigh and hip. 

  • Start by lying on your side on a comfortable exercise surface material.
  • Enhance your balance and stability by bending your bottom leg slightly.
  • Take your top leg and bend it at the knee, bringing your foot back towards your buttocks.
  • Use one of your hands to hold the foot firmly.
  • Use your other hand to support your head while keeping your lower back straight.
  • Breadth deeply and relax into the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Slowly lower your leg and return to the initial position.

How To Prevent Tight Hips

Besides the stretches described above, implementing the tips below is vital in stretching the lower back and hips.

  • Create a regular stretch plan (it could be once daily), and stick to it .Stay active by combining moderate exercises like cycling, walking, or swimming.
  • Avoid sitting in a position for too long.
  • Practice good sitting and standing posture so you don’t strain your hips and lower back.
  • Ensure you practice the exercises correctly to avoid complicating your hip. 
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your joints and muscles lubricated.


Hopefully, you have identified various ways to stretch your hips. However, pay attention to exercises that work best for you. You should  start with the simple exercise before advancing to the more  complex ones. Nevertheless, seek a medical expert if your hip remains tight or the pain persists after days of stretching.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I lessen the  tightness in the  hip?

You can lessen a tight hip by frequently stretching while engaging in other moderate forms of exercise. This may include walking and jogging.

What is the best stretch for me?

There is no suitable stretch for everyone. Identify the stretch exercise you can engage in without straining your hip.

How long should I stretch for?

The typical stretch duration is usually between 10 and 30 seconds. Ensure your body can adapt to it whenever you go beyond this time frame.

Do I need an instructor to stretch my tight hip?

You don’t need an instructor to stretch your tight hip. You can perform hip stretches independently if you have a comfortable surface.

How do I cure my lower back pain?

Stretches also help to cure lower back pain alongside tight hips.

How do I know my hip is tight?

A tight hip will disrupt your movement and cause pain while running or walking. Its effect may also be felt on every part of your leg, limiting your activity.

Are there any side effects of hip stretches?

Typically, hip stretches have no side effects. You may feel a sharp pain if you stretch longer than your body can adapt.

Can I perform another exercise with hip stretches?

You can perform some yoga exercises alongside hip stretches. This will further improve the stretch result.

+ 8 sources

MIDSS adheres to strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes, and medical associations. We work mainly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure the accuracy of the information. We avoid the use of tertiary references. You can read about how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content in our editorial process.

  1. Konrad, A., Rastko Močnik, Titze, S., Nakamura, M. and Tilp, M. (2021). The Influence of Stretching the Hip Flexor Muscles on Performance Parameters. A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. [online] 18(4), pp.1936–1936. doi:
  2. Reiman, M.P. and Thorborg, K. (2014). Clinical examination and physical assessment of hip joint-related pain in athletes. International journal of sports physical therapy, [online] 9(6), pp.737–55. Available at:
  3. Health (2015). Ageing – muscles bones and joints. [online] Available at:
  4. Health (2017). Hip disorders. [online] Available at:
  5. Angela Valentina Bisconti, Emiliano Cè, Longo, S., Venturelli, M., Coratella, G., Limonta, E., Doria, C., Rampichini, S. and Esposito, F. (2020). Evidence for improved systemic and local vascular function after long‐term passive static stretching training of the musculoskeletal system. [online] 598(17), pp.3645–3666. doi:
  6. (n.d.). Ways to stretch | [online] Available at:‌
  7. Mohammadtaghi Amiri-Khorasani and Kellis, E. (2015). Acute Effects of Different Agonist and Antagonist Stretching Arrangements on Static and Dynamic Range of Motion. [online] 6(4). doi:
  8. to, S. (2022). Four Hip Flexor Stretches to Relieve Tightness, from a PT. [online] Hospital for Special Surgery. Available at:


Dr. David Ibikunle is a highly accomplished medical doctor with a passion for integrating advanced data science techniques into medicine. As an MIT-certified Data Scientist, he brings a unique perspective to healthcare, combining his extensive medical knowledge with cutting-edge analytics. Driven by his dedication to education and awareness, he actively promotes advanced healthcare practices through various platforms. With years of experience in healthcare delivery and a proven track record in leadership, Dr. Ibikunle has taken on numerous leadership positions within medical organizations. Additionally, he is an adept writer and editor of health articles, sharing his expertise with a wider audience. A committed researcher, he consistently seeks innovative solutions to medical challenges, striving to improve patient outcomes and revolutionize healthcare.


Elizabeth Gonzalez Cueto, MD
Medical Doctor & Medical Writer
My name is Elizabeth and I am a Medical Doctor (MBBS) with experience as a medical and research article writer, reviewer and proofreader. I have worked for the American Journal of Case Reports, the Medical Science Monitor, and Pacific Medical Training as a medical article reviewer and writer. Besides, I have worked as a medical interpreter and translator for Angel City research and SC3 Research group as a medical research assistant for several clinical trials. My academic background includes many international scientific environments like Oxford University, United Kingdom. Hannover Medical School, the University of Tours, France. the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico.

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