How to Stretch Tight Hips for Runners

Do you struggle to open your stride because of tight hips? If so, this stretch is for you!

As a physical therapist, I’ve seen many running injuries caused by tight hips. It’s essential to prioritize hip flexibility if you want to run without injury.

This hip stretch is one of my favorites for targeting the hip flexors. It works easily into any cool down or warm up.

What I love most about this stretch is that it’s runner-specific. That means it provides the best carry-over to preventing & fixing running injuries.

Ready to Try the Stretch?

Watch the video to see how Steve does it.

Level 1

Put yourself in a stride with your hands on your hips. Bend the left leg, keeping your right leg straight behind you. Lift your heel so the weight is on your toe in the back. Tighten your back glute muscle.

If you feel a stretch through the front of your hip, it means you’ve engaged the correct muscles. Do five to 10 reps on each side, holding the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds.

Be careful to keep your pelvis straight ahead. One way people cheat is by rolling their pelvis backwards. If this compensation happens in your stretching, you can be sure it’s happening in your running also.

Level 2

Staying in the Level 1 position, reach both arms over your head. This will elevate the rib cage and send the pelvis downward. Adding arms to the Level 1 exercise is great for engaging the hip flexor a little more. Do five to 10 reps on each side.

Level 3

Staying in a stride, reach your right arm back toward your right leg. Then, reach your left arm overhead and back toward your right leg. You’ll feel a good stretch as you elongate the trunk and the front of the hip.

Take-Home Message

You should focus on hip flexibility if you want to run injury-free. Tight hip flexors create compensations that throw your alignment out, putting you at risk for injury.

Using the stretch above, you will develop the hip flexibility to run faster and prevent injury.

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