4-Minute Hip Stretch Routine

By Hayley Townsend |

Tight hips affect your balance, gait, and ability to move freely. Loosen up with simple stretches you can do anytime, anywhere.

Your hips do a lot for you. They support your upper body, help you stand, and allow you to move in different directions. Try adding these stretches to your daily routine to relieve tight hips and gain better range of motion.

We recommend that you use a wall, counter top or sturdy chair to help you maintain your balance.

As always, follow any instructions from your doctor, especially if you’re recovering from a hip injury. If you fear you have an injury—for example, you’ve recently fallen or tripped and landed hard on one leg—or have balance challenges, check in with your doctor.

Alternate Heel Walk

Stand tall with your feet planted firmly to the floor. Lift one heel from the floor, then press that heel down. Then, lift the other heel and press down again. Alternate heel lifts with both feet. You can also pump your arms (as if you’re walking in place) to help maintain your balance.

Single Leg Hip-Hinge

Plant your left foot to the floor and gently lift the heel of your right foot off the floor. Then, slowly hinge forward from the hips. Try to keep your left leg lengthened and your spine straight. Take a deep inhalation, then as you exhale, hinge a little deeper into the stretch. Inhale again, then exhale, slowly release from the stretch and return to standing tall.

Before repeating the hip hinge with the opposite leg, we suggest moving through a few alternating heel walks to help loosen up your lower body muscles. Then, perform the hip-hinge with your right foot planted to the floor and left heel raised.

Hip Circles

This stretch feels great—and it’s fun! Begin standing tall with both feet planted firmly to the floor. Gently bend your knees then slowly push your hips forward, then to the right, then push back and around to the left side. Create a full circle with your hips. Move through 1-3 circles, then stand tall to give yourself a quick break. Then, find a gentle bend in your knees again and circle your hips in the opposite direction.

Single Leg Swing

You may need to hold onto a wall or sturdy chair for this stretch. Stand tall and shift your weight to your left leg. Keep your left foot on the floor as you swing your right leg forward and back. Swing your leg back and forth 5-10 times, or as many times as you feel comfortable. Then, switch. Plant your right foot to the floor and shift your weight to the right side. Then, gently swing your left leg forward and back.

Moving Side Lunge

Stand with your feet spread wider than hip-distance apart. Gently bend your knees and sink down toward the floor. Then, push your hips back and keep your chest up as you shift your weight and move your torso toward the right side of the room. Your left leg should be straight, while your right knee is bent. Then, pass through the center to shift your weight to the left side, extending your right leg. You should feel this stretch in your inner thighs.

Add a rotation: As you shift your weight to the right side, reach your left arm across your body toward the right side of the room. Then, straighten both legs, bend your elbows, then twist your upper body to the left side of the room. Alternate the side lunge and torso rotation 3-5 times on each side.

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Wide Leg Hip Hinge

Stand with your feet spread wider than hip-distance apart. Keep your legs straight and long as you push your hips back slightly and hinge forward. Try to keep your spine straight and neck long and breathe deeply.

Plie Squat

Spread your feet apart, wider than hip-distance, and bring your heels inward to point your toes slightly outward. Drop your tail bone, bend your knees and sink down. Then, take a big inhalation and raise both arms up overhead as you push yourself back up. Repeat the plie squat 3-5 times, or as many times as you feel comfortable.

The simplest way to relieve tight hips: movement. Strengthen your hips with these seven exercises and try adding these stretches to your daily routine to relieve tight hips and move freely.

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