We’ve all had those intense lower body workouts that leave you beyond sore, when just the thought of moving hurts. Rest easy though—these stretches will open up your hips, groin, and legs, making your tomorrow a little bit easier. Because let’s be honest, there’s nothing like the day-after sore that follows a killer day in the gym.
Tight muscles aside, great hip mobility is beneficial when it comes to allowing your body to have the full range of motion it should. “If our hips aren’t able to flex and move in the way our bodies intend them to, they don’t become as useful as they should be, which means a lot of the load will fall onto your lower back,” says Heidi Jones, Head Coach at Brick New York. “This creates problems over time.” And your hips are 100 percent designed to generate a ton of power. So go ahead, get your stretch on!
1. Deep Squat Stand
Get into a deep squat with chest and eyes up and forward. Keep your core contracted and upright. Hold onto the front of each shoe. Then as you stand and extend hips back, continue holding onto the front of each shoe to full extension. Repeat 9 more times.
This stretch improves hip and leg mobility while stretching your hip and hamstrings.
2. Samson Stretch
Interlace your thumbs and raise your arms overhead. Engage your shoulders and shrug them up towards your ears. Step forward into a lunge with the knee of the rear leg touching the floor. Stretch your hands up towards the ceiling as you sink into the lunge and push your hips forward as your arms reach back behind you. Stand up out of the lunge and repeat on the other side.
This move stretches and lengthens the arms, shoulders, and back while stretching the hip flexors as well.
3. Couch Stretch
Find a wall and get down on all fours and move your bent knee back into the wall with your shin and the top of your foot touching the wall. Then bring the forward leg into a 90-degree angle with the knee directly over the ankle. Then stand tall with your torso and your chest and eyes up looking forward to the opposite side of the room. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to prevent hyperextending your lower back. Hold for 30 seconds and switch to the other side.
You will feel an intense stretch on the right front side of your hip.
4. Toy Soldier
Stand upright with feet under the hips. Core engaged and gaze forward. Raise your right arm toward the ceiling. Then swing your left leg up towards the ceiling as your right hand lowers to tap your left foot. Return to standing position and repeat on the opposite side. Do 10 toy soldiers to each side.
This dynamic stretch will take your hip flexors through a forward range of motion.
5. Figure 4 Hip Stretch
This stretch will externally rotate your hip. You can do this stretch on a box or a table. You’ll need a box or table that you can bend one leg and lay the front of the leg or the shin on the box. Keep your torso erect and your core engaged. Keep mild pressure on the leg to try and keep the leg as flat on the table or box as you can. Hold for a 5-count and repeat on the other leg.
This stretch targets the hip muscles and the hip joint.
6. Goblet Squat
The goblet squat hold is literally holding a kettle bell in the bottom of a squat. This is an isometric hold which is super effective at improving hip flexibility. You want to use a moderately heavy weight. Flip the kettle bell upside down and hold it by the belly of the bell, or the part that would resemble a goblet. Lower into the bottom of the squat with the elbows just inside the knees. Use your elbows to drive your knees outward increasing the stretch on the adductors. Hold this stretch for 10 deep inhales and exhales.
This is a great stretch for the hips, hamstrings, and glutes, while also strengthening them as well. It also targets the hip flexors and stretches the groin.
7. Spiderman Stretch
Start in the pushup position. Step forward with the left leg outside of the left hand. Drive the hips forward and hold for 5 seconds. Return to the start position and repeat on the right leg. Alternate for 5 reps on each side.
This stretch targets the hip flexors.
8. Banded Child Stretch
Put a medium resistance band around your hips and your glutes and sit your glutes as close to a wall as you can. Loop each side of the band around each knee. Place your feet against the wall with your back flat on the ground. Rest your hands on you knees. Contract your legs in towards each other for 2 seconds and then let them relax out to the side. Do this 10 times.
This stretches the inner thighs or the adductors.