How to release tight hips

A woman in activewear standing against wooden wall

Using tight hip flexors, a hip flexor stretch, and targeting hip pain to get you back up and running

Whether it’s your left leg that’s causing you a problem, or maybe your right leg, your left knee or actually any of the other body parts in the ‘heads shoulders knees or toes’ rhyme… hip pain is a life changer.

Sure, it can be mild at times, or even slightly worse and feel like an inconvenience but this sort of pain can stop you from training, defeat your motivation and affect everyday life like nothing else.

Thankfully, the entire internet seems to be sharing tips and tricks on how to reduce it all. From using your left hip, keeping your knees bent and honing hip flexor muscles none of this is technical, it’s just about the know-how.

Tight-knit, what causes tight hips?

It’s usually quite obvious as to what’s causing a problem in a certain body part – if it’s the leg then it’s probably a leg muscle or joint. But with the hip, while simple, it’s good to know what’s probably causing your pain.

The main hip flexor types are – Iliopsoas, rectus femoris, tensor fasciae latae and sartorius. Flexors are a group of muscles, and targeting them in stretches can release tight hip flexors, leading to relief and getting you back to it.

There are other flexor types so be sure to check them out if you need to.

Pigeon stretch

Let’s take one look at an example stretch (others can be found here) to give you an idea of the type of movements to help with hip pain relief.

  1. Start with your hands and knees using a tabletop position.
  2. sweep your right knee forward and positon it at the rear of your right wrist.
  3. Place your right ankle in front of your left hip.
  4. Straighten your left leg behind your entire body, ensuring your left knee is straight and that your toes are pointed.
  5. Make sure your hips are square.
  6. Slowly and gently lower yourself to the ground.
  7. Remain in this position for 10 seconds.
  8. Now push on your hands to release the position, lifting your hips and moving the legs back into the starting position.
  9. Now repeat on the opposite side.


This is just one example stretch of many. There is a tonne on the internet that will definitely suit you better, depending on your hips and specific pain type. It’s so important to know simple stretches so that you can utilise their remedying effects on the fly. From keeping your feet hip width apart, leg straight, and beginning to lean forward slightly to targeting your hip flexors in more complex ways, it’s always down to you and your preferences.

Do the research and find the right tactic for you.


Are some hip flexor stretches better than others?

It’s always down to your preference and what will suit your body more. It’s an exercise in the way of stretching smart and making sure you’re targeting the areas you need to.

Should I already know what a hip flexion is?

Not necessarily. Any area of medicine or the human body takes learning, and without having covered it at school how would you have been exposed to it before? Terms such as kneeling hip flexor stretch, anterior superior iliac spine and quadriceps stretch only make sense after you’ve read about them!

**Read more to learn how to fix snapping hip!

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