If you feel like your hips are stiff, whether it’s from sports or sitting at your desk for too long, here are a few different stretches to help get some flexibility back, arranged in order of difficulty.

Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds (take a few deep breaths) to let the muscle relax and never push into pain! Stretches should be light and easy. Make sure you are doing the stretches daily for best results!

Figure 4
Glute stretch
Butterfly stretch
Side lunge (standing adductors)
Standing hip flexor stretch
Pigeon pose

Figure 4:

Lying down on your back with your knees bent, bring one ankle onto your opposite knee and press the knee in the air away from you. To get a deeper stretch, bring the leg supporting the ankle towards you by pulling your thigh with your hands under the knee.

It can also be done in sitting by bringing your ankle onto your opposite knee.

Stretches to help open your hips - Figure 4
Figure 4
Stretches to help open your hips - Figure 4

Glute stretch:

Lying down with your legs outstretched, bring one knee to your chest and hold. Let go and repeat with the other leg. You can find different fibers of the muscle by changing the angle of the knee.

Glute stretch for hips
Glute stretch

Butterfly stretch:

While sitting or lying down, bend your knees with the feet and the knees touching, then slowly let the knees fall out on either side while the feet stay in place. To deepen the stretch while sitting, you can apply a light pressure on both knees with your elbows while bringing the body forward without curving your back.

Butterfly stretch to open hips
Buttterfly stretch

Standing adductor stretch (side lunge):

While standing, lunge down to one side, keeping the other leg outstretched to the side with the knee straight. Hold onto a table or wall in front of you for balance if needed. Keep your body upright or lean into the side of the straight leg to deepen the stretch.

Stretches to help open hips - side lunge
Side lunge

Standing hip flexor stretch:

While standing, bring one foot onto a chair in front of you to stretch the front of the leg that stays on the ground and the hips stay even. Make sure to keep the back straight and not let it curve inwards. To deepen the stretch, let the hips move forward while keeping the back straight. This stretch is great if you’ve been sitting for long periods of time!

Standing hip flexor stretch
Standing hip flexor stretch

Pigeon pose:

While on your stomach propped up on your hands, bring one leg up so that the knee is out in front of you or slightly to the side, and the foot crosses out in front of the opposite leg. The leg that doesn’t move should stay straight on the ground. Keep the hips even, it’s possible they will be slightly above the ground. The rest of your body can stay upright or deepen the stretch by leaning forward and even resting on the mat/ground in front of you.

If despite all these stretches, your pain persists, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with your physiotherapist to work on the mobility of your hips!