The Best Stretches for Tight Hip Flexors

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler, MD on January 27, 2022

Your hip flexors are a group of muscles near the top of your thighs that are key players in moving your lower body. They let you to walk, kick, bend, and swivel your hips. But if your muscles are too tight or if you make a sudden movement, your hip flexors can stretch or tear.

A hip flexor strain can be mildly uncomfortable or so serious that you have trouble walking and have muscle spasms and lot of pain.

Regular stretches can help keep your hip flexors loose and prevent injuries.

Standing Stretch

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and toes forward.
  2. Bend your right knee, and bring your right heel up toward your butt.
  3. Hold your right foot with the right hand, and gently pull to point your knee toward the floor. You can hold on to a counter or chair with your left hand for balance.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on your other leg.

Active Stretch

  1. Stand on your left foot with the toes slightly turned inward. Put your right foot on the seat of a chair in front of you.
  2. Hold your arms straight out in front of you at chest level.
  3. Slowly raise your arms straight up as you squeeze your butt and gently push your pelvis forward. That will straighten your left leg and deepen the bend in your right knee. You’ll feel the stretch in the front of your left hip.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other leg.

Kneeling Stretch

  1. Kneel with your left knee on the floor and your right leg at a 90-degree angle in front of you.
  2. Put your hands on your right knee and keep your back straight.
  3. Keeping your left knee pressed to the floor, lean forward into your right hip while squeezing the muscles in your left buttocks.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Supine Stretch

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your legs straight, toes pointing toward the ceiling.
  2. Keep your right leg straight on the floor, bend your left knee so your foot is flat on the floor, and lace your fingers behind your left knee.
  3. Pull your left knee toward your chest. Keep your back, hips, and right leg on the floor.
  4. Exhale and pull your left knee closer toward your chest.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Seated Stretch

  1. Sit slightly sideways on the edge of a bench or a chair with your back straight, both feet on the floor, and your knees bent.
  2. Slide your right foot back and lower your right knee close to the floor. The leg should be bent at a 90-degree angle with your right knee straight below your right hip. Keep your left foot on the floor.
  3. Tighten your buttocks and hold for 30 seconds. Switch to the other leg.

Show Sources


American Heart Association: “Hip strengthening might ease pain of clogged leg arteries.”

University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital: “Hip Flexor Strain.”

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Hip Strains.”

American College of Sports Medicine: “Improving Your Flexibility and Balance.”

American Council on Exercise: “Supine Hip Flexor Stretch.”

Arthritis Foundation: “Seated Hip Flexors and Quadriceps Stretch.”

MedlinePlus: “Hip flexor strain -- aftercare.”

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