Do you have any good stretches for hips Lyz? Mine feel painfully tight…

Do you have any good stretches for hips Lyz? Mine feel painfully tight…

7th November 2018 by Lyz Igwe Exercise 0 comments

Martin: “Can you show me some stretches for my hips Lyz? They feel painfully stiff and tight, I’m struggling to get comfortable and don’t want to resort to pain killers.”

Hips feeling tight is a complaint I hear on an almost daily basis.

Most of us carry tightness in our hips.

Predominantly because we are sedentary and sit down so much.

In a seated position your hip flexors (a group of muscles that join your upper and lower body) are in a shortened position (tight).

To make matters worse, we are often stressed whilst seated at our computers. The hip flexors (along with lower back muscles) are prone to ‘holding’ this tension and tightness.

I always say every cloud has a silver lining, and here it is that if you stretch your hips to relieve tightness, you also get some major stress relief as the tension leaves your body.

What do hip flexors do?

Mechanically, your hip flexors help bring your knee up towards your chest or allow you to bend at the hip, so your body moves towards your legs.

When your hip flexors are tight, they are always in a shortened position. Imagine your body – you are always then slightly bent at the hips and not able to fully straighten up. This limited range of movement is very common and leads to poor posture, lower back ache and hip pain.

Tight hip flexors lead to poor posture

If you’re hips don’t straighten (extend) properly then the extension must come from somewhere else to get you upright. Your body compensates by curving your lower back more than is ideal.

When your lower back curves the muscles there will tighten and the opposing muscles (your abdominals) will stretch and weaken. Your stomach might stick out more than you’d like, and ribs will start to protrude. Whilst tight hip flexors are not necessarily the cause of this postural dysfunction, they are certainly a contributing factor.

hip flexor stretch

How to stretch out your hip flexors

You don’t need any equipment, just a wall and a towel to put under your knee:

  1. Find a space against a wall
  2. You want to get into a half kneeling position where the foot of the knee that’s down, is on propped up on the wall
  3. Then put the other foot out in front of you for balance, making sure your hips and knees are aligned and that your knee is at a right angle with your ankle directly below it
  4. Then get your body as upright as possible making sure your ribs are flat against your body and not looking pigeon-like
  5. Next, tuck your pelvis under. Imagine trying to make the gap between your bottom rib and the top of your pelvis smaller
  6. You will be feeling the stretch by now – hold on to something for balance if you need to. You must be perfectly still for the stretch to work so no wobbling allowed
  7. Hold for 30s rest for 10s. Repeat three times then switch to the other leg.

Whilst stretching your hips out will relive tightness it’s always worth addressing the underlying issue… Moving more is a given, but also strengthen your core and activate those glutes (backside)!

Let me know if this stretch helps you 🙂


P.S. If you (or someone you know) have long-term pain and are struggling to exercise, so piling on the pounds and generally feeling ‘bleurgh’ …I can help.

If you’d like a free-of-charge consultation to chat about how we can get you back to feeling like you, call me on 0779 381 3605 or email

*I’ve changed my client’s name to protect their identity – the story is based on a real conversation.

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