A significant drawback to your day-to-day life is having stiff, immovable hips. Whether getting in and out of a car, standing to an upright position after being seated for a long time, performing squats, or walking with long, purposeful strides, tight hip flexors make these moves challenging.
Remaining active requires being able to move with ease. As men, we often build muscle mass or work on a solid core. While muscle mass and a strong core are essential, many men forget that healthy hip flexors are the main component for easy movement throughout the day. We tend to neglect the importance of stretching the muscles of our hips necessary for physical activity.
Osteoarthritis is partially to blame for tight hips. Tight hips, however, can result in muscle imbalances and poor posture leading to lower backaches or difficulty performing certain moves leaving a person vulnerable to falls.
Many people suffer from stiff hips. The solution for loosening tight hip flexors is to stretch them out daily, helping alleviate discomfort. The ideal scenario is to achieve stability with mobility and having flexible hips helps.
Stretches for movable, strong hip flexors
When seated the majority of the day, stretching hip flexors is the best way to achieve good mobility, stability, and flexibility in this area. Here are easy-to-perform hip flexors stretches to achieve the goal of moving with ease:
- Half-kneeling hip flexor stretch
What it does: It stretches hip flexors, especially for people seated most of the day.
How to do it: Lower yourself onto your knees. Lift your left knee to bend at a 90-degree angle, plant your left foot on the floor, and keep your right knee on the floor. Exhale and lean forward until you feel the stretch in your upper thigh and hip flexors. Your left knee should never go past your toes. Your right knee and toes should stay on the floor during the entire stretch. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Next, switch to the right bent in front of you, and repeat the movement on this side. Do each side three times.
- Inner thigh stretch
What it does: It improves flexibility in the quadriceps and hip flexors; relieves tension in the lower back and hips.
How to do it: Sit up straight on the floor with knees bent so that the soles of the feet touch one another. Grasp your feet with your hands. Gently push down on your knees with your elbows to deepen the stretch. Hold for a count of 30. Repeat three times.
- Child’s pose
What it does: It helps stretch hips, thighs, and ankles while reducing stress and fatigue.
How to do it: Start with your hands and knees on the floor. Push and drop your butt toward your heels, stretching and elongating the rest of your body down and forward. Once you are fully stretched position, reach your arms in front of you in a relaxed position along the floor, abdominals should rest comfortably on top of your thighs and place your forehead on the floor. A mild stretch should be felt in your shoulders and buttocks and down the length of your spine and arms.
- Standing flexion hold
What it does: Improves stability and balance while stretching hip flexors.
How to do it: Stand and, if necessary, hold onto a chair for balance. Lift your left knee and with your right hand, grasp the left knee, pulling it toward your chest. Hold this position for five seconds. Then, release slowly, lowering the knee to the floor. Repeat five times on both sides.
- Hula hoop move
What it does: Performing hula hoop moves takes strong core muscles and mobility in the hips. This movement targets the abdominal muscles and the obliques and loosens up tight hips.
How to do it: Standing with feet hip-distance apart, arm slightly out to the side, and contracting your glute muscles, circle your hips as you would using a hula hoop. To create a larger circle, bend at the waist as you maintain good movement. Move in one direction for up to two minutes, then switch directions, again moving up to two minutes. Repeat as often as you like.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.