A full range of hip movement is essential if you want to improve lower-body strength, running performance and general ease of movement. Read on to ensure you stay supple…

Tight hips are a common complaint among runners, weightlifters and cyclists alike. If you want to ease hip flexor tightness and get the most out of your workouts – whether you’re hitting the pavements or the gym – improving the flexibility in your hips with a regular hip flexor stretch routine is crucial (so is using one of the best foam rollers for workout recovery). These are some of the best hip flexor stretches for increasing mobility, suggested by personal trainer Omar Mansour

What’s the problem with tight hip flexors?

“Hip mobility is important for sport performance and everyday life,” says Mansour. “Many of us live sedentary lives, which can impact hip mobility by shortening the hip flexors and also weakening the surrounding muscles. Plus, having tight hip muscles can also impede full range of motion.

“By using the best hip flexor stretches to improve your mobility, you can move more efficiently and allow your body to biomechanically be in the correct positions to make everyday movements more efficient and safe. If someone’s mobility and strength in the hips are limited, other muscles – particularly those around the lower back – will be overworked. As a result, these muscles are susceptible to injury, especially when lifting heavy loads.

“All in all, if you want to move more efficiently and boost athletic performance, you will want to have a good range of motion in the hips.”

What are the best hip flexor stretches?

  1. Lunge hip flexor stretch
  2. Butterfly stretch
  3. Pigeon stretch
  4. 90/90 stretch
  5. Wide-angle seated forward bend
  6. World’s greatest stretch
  7. Three-legged downward facing dog
  8. Cow’s face pose

Click one of the above stretches to be taken to the instructions.

Best hip flexor stretches – instructions

Man performing a lunge flexorMan performing end of a lunge flexor
Lunge hip flexor stretch 

Recommended hold: 30-45 secs each side

  • Kneel on a mat with both knees, then place one foot forward so that you have a 90-degree angle at the hip and knee.
  • Keeping your torso upright, lean forward until you feel a stretch through your groin and into your hip flexors.
  • To increase the stretch in your hip flexor, you can also tilt your pelvis under and squeeze your glute. 

Roll out those tight hips with the Amazon Basics High Density Foam Roller


$12.05 / £16.15 / amazon.co.uk

Man performing a butterfly stretch
Butterfly stretch 

Recommended hold: 30 secs

  • Start in the seated position. Have the soles of your feet together and bend your knees.
  • Gently place your palms on the inside of your lower thighs and apply pressure until you feel the stretch in your groin.
  • Be sure to also lengthen your spine and torso.  

Man performing a pigeon poseMan performing end of a pigeon stretch -
Pigeon stretch 

Recommended hold: 45-60 secs

  • Start in a low lunge with your right leg forward and bent at 90 degrees and your left leg behind it.
  • Move your right foot behind your left hand and lower down to the floor. Shift your left leg back a bit for extra room.
  • Make sure your left toes, heel, ankle, knee and hip are in the same line.
  • Keep your torso up and fold forwards as far as you can. 

If this hip stretch feels too intense, you can also try sitting on a yoga block. Check out the URBNFit Yoga Block


$14.94 / £10.89 / amazon.co.uk

A man performing a 90/90 hip stretch - best hip stretchesA man performing a 90/90 hip stretch
90/90 stretch

Recommended hold: 30-45 secs

  • Sit on the ground with your knees bent in front of you, wider than shoulder distance apart.
  • Rotate one leg into internal rotation and the other into external rotation. Your thighs should be 90 degrees to each other.
  • You can also reposition the body to achieve this angle if needed.

Once you’ve mastered these hip stretches, you should check out the best back stretches

Man performing a wide-angle seated forward stretch - best hip stretchesMan performing end of a wide-angle seated forward stretch -
Wide-angle seated forward bend

Recommended hold: 45-60 secs

  • Start in the seated position with your legs wide and straight.
  • Lengthen up through your spine.
  • Bend forward from your hips and place your hands between your legs on the floor.
  • Slowly exhale as you start to walk your hands forward. 

Man in a press-up position Man performing the world's greatest stretchMan performing the world's greatest stretch -
World’s greatest stretch 

Recommended hold: 30 secs

  • In a high plank position, step your right foot towards the outside of your right hand.  
  • Move your right elbow inside towards your right foot, then rotate and reach for the ceiling.
  • Now, return to the start and repeat on the other side. 
three legged downward dog hip stretch illustration

Three-legged downward facing dog

Recommended hold: 10-20 seconds each side

  • Start in a high plank position, with palms directly under your shoulders. Press into the mat with your fingers to protect the wrists.
  • Push your hips up and back into downward facing dog, until you feel a stretch through your back and shoulders. Focus on gently pushing your chest towards your thighs and your heels towards the floor, bending the legs if needed.
  • From here, raise your right leg up towards the sky and bend the knee while turning the hip out, allowing it to move above your left leg. Look under your left armpit here, towards your right foot, for a deeper stretch.
  • Gently return the right leg and repeat on the other side.
cow face pose

Cow’s Face Pose

Recommended hold: 30-60 seconds each side

  • From a seated position, with legs bent towards you, cross your right leg on top of your left leg, then guide each ankle towards the opposite hip. Your knees should be stacked on top of one another (NOTE: if this is too intense on your knees or hips, straighten the bottom leg).
  • Either leave your arms by your sides or try a shoulder stretch here, by bending one arm up behind your head and the other arm down behind your back. Try to reach the fingers towards one another, or hold onto a strap.
  • Hold here, then repeat on the other side, this time crossing the left leg on top of the right.

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