PNP Academy

Top 5 Stretches To Open Your Hips

Top 5 Stretches To Open Your Hips

Most men and lots of women share this issue over tight hips. You know you have tight hips if you cannot squat low and it just seems impossible. If you have a hard time bending over to pick up a low deadlift and cannot open your knees up or straighten your back up, you might have tight hips!
 
 

Leg lowers- Hamstring stretch

Using a band or a strap, help stretch out your hamstrings to help with hip mobility. The hamstrings play a role in hip extension, and we want to loosen up the muscles that attach to the hip bones, which includes the ischium.
 
Lying on your back on the floor, hook the band or strap around the sole of the foot. Keep your leg straight as you pull the foot upwards, creating a hamstring stretch. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, then slowly release them towards the floor. Repeat 8 to 10 repetitions, then switch legs.


 

Band walk

This is a great way to wake up the glute and hip abductor muscles to help them function better. Their role is to laterally extend the leg, and if they are never activated, they never really help create that sort of tension.
 
Use a plyo elastic band wrapped around the knees to get this one started. You won’t need a lot of resistance if you have weak glutes. Standing up with the band around your knees, activate the muscles by bending slightly into a “ready” position. Push your hips back and create a slight bend in the knees. Push your knees apart and take tiny steps left, never allowing the tension in the band to reduce. Take 10 steps then another 10 tiny controlled steps to the right side.


 

Pigeon stretch

This is perfect to stretch the glutes and piriformis muscles, one side at a time. Lie face-down on the floor with one leg completely extended back. Bend the other knee and hip to bring your shin under your stomach. The lifted leg is the activated side. Your foot should be pointing towards the opposite side hip. Try to keep your shin as horizontal as possible to your body.
 
If your hips are right, you’ll probably want to keep your upper body propped up on your extended arms. The next step would be to lower your body and hips down to rest on your forearms. The best position is to have your arms crossed under your chest or under your head, completely flat to the floor. When you can do this, you no longer have tight hips!


 

Frog stretch

This is a painful stretch for anyone with tight hips. Get ready to feel the burn in the hip adductors muscle group. These are the muscles at the inside of the thighs, including what we loosely term “groin”. In a prone position on the floor, bring both knees up and out to your sides. Support your body weight on your hands with arms extended. Slide your knees out as far as possible, keeping the knees and ankles contacting the floor.


Relax before you feel pain, then lean back to add some stretch, if needed. Point your toes up towards your head and keep your shins parallel to your body.


 

SMR Adductors

After (or before) a good froggy stretch on the adductors, you can also do a quick foam rolling drill for these sensitive muscles. You will do one leg at a time to get the best effect. If you are using a longer foam roller, you will need to slide to the end of it. For example, face down over a roller with your right quad on it. You will want your left hip and quad free and unencumbered by the roller, so shift yourself left.
 
From here, bend the right knee and turn towards the right. Roll the entire length of the thigh from the top of the knee to the pubis. Again, if you feel any pain, relax, slow down and breathe into it. Perform about 45 to 60 seconds per leg.
 
When opening up the hips, don’t expect to see any changes for a good 4 to 6 weeks. Remind yourself that you are likely correcting several years of dysfunction so changes won’t happen overnight!
 
Finally, use the hips in as many deep ranges of motion in exercise as possible. Squat, deadlift, pistol, and overhead squat as much as you can to actually heat up and strengthen the tight areas.
Christie Leclair
Christie Leclair - Author

FD Bulsara, BSc is a competitive athlete in Olympic weightlifting and a student in Osteopathy. She coaches private and group fitness classes and freelance writing about her passions: fitness, health, sport, nutrition, weightlifting, CrossFit, injury prevention, pain relief, injury rehabilitation, and the latest research on all these topics! She is a dog person and spends free time training at the lake. Find her at www.4myhealthnow.com.


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