Best Stretches For Hip Pain: Drop Tension & Boost Mobility

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: November 29, 2023
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As a personal trainer and strength coach, I often encounter people struggling with hip pain during their training sessions. And in many cases, it all comes down to a lack of mobility in the hip joints.

So, I got together with a physical therapist friend of mine who helped me put together a list of stretching exercises specifically targeting hip pain and mobility.

I then tested these out with five clients to see how they helped them with overall exercise performance.

Quick Summary

  • If you regularly deal with hip pain, then it could be due to a lack of hip mobility and stiff muscles that you can improve with stretches like the pigeon pose and leg swings.
  • Some people resort to hip pain exercises, but in many cases, it’s more important to stretch the hip flexors and other muscles first.
  • Along with adding this stretching routine to your workout plan, it’s important to get the ideal nutrients to support a better training session.
  • You should also consider taking an amino acid supplement to help with overall recovery from workouts and injuries.

How Do You Stretch to Loosen Your Hips?

A person with hip pain at the office

You stretch to loosen your hips by targeting the hip flexors and muscles in your upper thigh.

These are the ones that may cause a lack of mobility and pain during exercises and even when just sitting on a chair. 

And here are the best ways to achieve this based on feedback from my physical therapist.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip flexor stretches are among the most important for boosting the range of motion in your hip joints, and they can have a significant impact on exercise performance [1].

Here’s how this stretch works:

  • Get into a kneeling position on your yoga mat and place your left foot flat on the mat in front of you.
  • With your left knee bent at a right angle, place your hands on your hips.
  • Now rotate and tilt your hips forward until you feel some strain on the tight hip flexors in your right leg.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds, and then release your hips back.
  • Repeat this movement for about 30 to 40 seconds.

Read More: Lying Hip Flexor Stretches

Knee-To-Chest Stretch

A person doing knee to chest workouts at home

This is a great static stretch for your hip muscles, and it’s also one of the easiest ones to do regularly [2].

Get into the habit of doing this every morning and night, and you’ll see a big difference: 

  • Lay down on a yoga mat with your body completely straight and arms beside you.
  • Raise your left knee off the ground and bend it completely while the other leg remains on the mat.
  • Use your hands to pull the knees towards your upper body and chest.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then switch to the other side.

Seated Butterfly Stretch

You can add this to your bedtime and morning routines as well.

It’s a simple stretch that opens up the hip joints:

  • Sit on the mat with both feet flat on the ground and your knees bent.
  • Slowly lower your knees to each side and use your arms to push them down as far as possible.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and then release it.
  • This is one of those stretches for hip pain where you’ll gradually see progress by being able to get your knees close to the ground.

Learn More: Seated Soleus Stretches to Overcome Tight Lower Legs

Pigeon Pose

A person doing the pigeon pose

This is a yoga pose that anyone who has been to a beginner yoga class has probably experienced.

It’s also great for working the other thigh muscles and glute:

  • Get into a high plank position with your hands below your shoulders and both legs straight.
  • Bring your right knee up under your body so that your right foot is just below the left side of your hip.
  • Keep the left leg straight and slowly lower your pelvis down to start the stretch and relieve the hip pain.

Figure Four Stretch

This is another great way to stretch the gluteal muscles and hip flexor muscles at the same time.

I won’t take much to feel the stretch: 

  • Lay down flat on your back with both knees bent.
  • Place your right ankle on your knee on the opposite leg.
  • Reach your hands behind your left thigh and straighten out the left leg.
  • Pull the leg towards you and feel the stretch in your right hip.

Leg Swings

A person doing leg swings at home

I’d now like to show you a dynamic hip stretch that you can do pretty much anywhere: 

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Raise your right foot off the ground and keep your left leg straight.
  • Now swing your right leg in front of the other leg as far as you can, and then back and out to the right as far as possible.
  • It’s like your one leg is in a pendulum swing.

Yoga Squat

Here is another one of the simple stretches for hip pain that you’d get from a yoga instructor: 

  • Stand in a squat position where your feet are about shoulder-width apart.
  • Slowly lower your buttocks down and keep your upper body straight.
  • Your knees will naturally flare out, and you should even try to push them out further.
  • With your knees fully bent, hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat the movement a few times.

Lying Hip Rotation

A person doing a lying hip rotation workout

If you experience hip pain and struggle with some of the above stretches, then this simple option could be ideal:

  • Lay down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Turn your head to the left and lower your knees down to the right side of your body while keeping your ankles together.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds, then turn your head to the right and bring your knees to the left.

“Everyone can benefit from hip conditioning, even if you don’t have any hip concerns. Stretching and strengthening these muscles can help build stability and flexibility.”

- Gregory Minnis, DPT


Should You Stretch Your Hip If It Hurts?

Yes, you should gently stretch your muscles if your hip hurts, unless you have a significant underlying health issue or injury. People with arthritis or ligament injuries should talk to a doctor or physiotherapist before doing any stretching.

Does Stretching Help Hip Inflammation?

Yes, stretching can help with hip inflammation, as long as it’s not due to a significant injury. In many cases, inflammation can add pressure to the joint, tendons, and ligaments, and gently stretching the area could relieve the pain.


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