5 exercises to release tight hips and get rid of stiffness

Feeling stiffness around your hip and wondering how to release tight hips? Try these 5 exercises to increase mobility and loosen up your hips.
A woman stretching before exercise
It's important to warm up before you get down to exercising. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 24 Aug 2023, 08:59 am IST
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Tight hips can be a real pain. Whether it’s due to sitting at a desk almost all day or an intense workout, tight hips can lead to discomfort and reduced mobility. Fortunately, there are exercises that can help to alleviate this discomfort and increase flexibility. Here you will find some effective exercises to release tight hips so that you can regain your range of motion and feel more comfortable in your body.

How to release tight hips?

Chitharesh Kongarampilly Natesan, aka The Indian Monster, a professional bodybuilder, tells Health Shots that incorporating hip exercises into a regular routine can have a transformative impact on overall well-being, alleviating stiffness and tightness from your hips.

Here are 5 exercises to release tight hips and reduce stiffness:

1. Hip flexor stretch

Sitting for an extended period of time can cause tightness in your hip flexors. Performing this stretch regularly can improve flexibility in your hip flexors and relieve discomfort caused by prolonged sitting. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart.
  • Step your right foot forward and bend your knee at a 90-degree angle, keeping your left knee on the ground.
  • Press your hips forward slightly, feeling a stretch in the front of your left hip.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, then switch to the other side.
hip stretch
Reverse lunges are great for your glutes and can help with your hip dips! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Glute bridges

Glute bridges are a simple yet powerful exercise for targeting the muscles in your hips, lower back, and glutes. It helps strengthen the posterior chain muscles and alleviate lower back pain while improving hip mobility. To perform a glute bridge:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • Place your arms at your sides, palms facing down.
  • Engage your core and press through your heels to lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.
  • Lower your hips back down to the ground and repeat for a set of 10-15 repetitions.

3. Fire hydrants

Fire hydrants are a fun and effective exercise that targets your hip abductors and outer thighs. It will not only help reduce hip stiffness but also tone and strengthen the muscles around your hips. Here’s how to do them:

  • Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
  • Keep your core engaged and lift your right leg out to the side, keeping your knee bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Hold for a moment at the top of the movement, feeling the burn in your hip.
  • Lower your leg back down and repeat for 10-15 repetitions on each side.

4. Pigeon pose

Pigeon pose is a yoga stretch that targets the hip flexors, external rotators, and glutes. This pose is an excellent exercise for releasing tension in the hips and can provide relief from stress and stiffness. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start in a plank position.
  • Bring your right knee forward and place it behind your right wrist.
  • Extend your left leg straight behind you, keeping your hips square.
  • Lower your upper body down toward the floor, resting on your forearms or forehead.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then switch to the other side.
Pigeon pose for the glutes
Pigeon pose. Image courtesy: Nishtha Bijlani

5. Lateral leg raises

Lateral leg raises are a simple yet effective way to target the hip abductors and outer thighs. By incorporating lateral leg raises into your routine, you can strengthen the muscles around your hips, which can help reduce stiffness and improve overall hip stability. Follow these steps to perform it:

  • Lie on your side with your legs straight and stacked on top of each other.
  • Place your bottom arm under your head for support and place your top hand on your hip.
  • Lift your top leg as high as you can while keeping it straight.
  • Lower it back down and repeat for 10-15 repetitions on each side.

Chitharesh says, “These hip exercises are best integrated into one’s regular fitness regimen, with a recommended frequency of 2-3 times per week. Prior to engaging in stretches and movements, a brief warm-up is advised to prepare the muscles. It is important to exercise caution and listen to one’s body, particularly for those new to these routines. Over time, noticeable improvements in hip mobility, reduced stiffness, and an overall sense of relaxation can be expected.”

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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