In today’s world, we’re all sitting more than we ever have before. Many people work jobs that have them sitting down for 8+ hours a day. Then, we come home and we sit more as we watch TV, eat our meals, or enjoy the rest of the evening. All of this sitting can be detrimental to our physical health, of course, but you might be surprised that this can also affect the health of our hips.
There’s no denying it...tight hips are the worst. Most people who work desk jobs find that they have incredibly tight hips. That feeling of tightness is usually due to the hip flexors being shortened or weakened from excessive sitting or a sedentary lifestyle.
Tight hips may also occur with excessive standing, poor posture, structural imbalances, and poor sleeping positions. Fortunately, tight hips can be remedied with consistent stretching and exercises that help work out the hip flexors.
When you have tight hips, the pain can show up in different ways. Of course, you might feel it around your hips or upper groin area. That’s a given. But it can show up in other places too. Tight hips might cause lower back pain, pain in the hamstrings, quads, or even knees.
Fortunately - tight hips or weakened hip flexors can be fixed! This is welcome news to people who chronically suffer from the effects of these shortened muscles. We recommend creating a routine for optimal hip health with the stretches and exercises below.
If you’re a person who sits a lot during the day, you can also be proactive about preventing tight hips. Set an alarm on your phone every hour or so to remind yourself to move around. Take a few minutes and move - whether it’s a walk to the bathroom or a few laps around the office. This will help break up excessive periods of sitting. You could also schedule in a monthly massage or chiropractor/physical therapy visits if the budget allows.
But - first off, start with some consistent stretching. This will pay off more than you think.
Here are the best hip stretches you can do to unlock your hips, perform better and MoveWell.
Additional resources + citations for hip stretches