How to Increase the Flexibility of the Hip Joint

by Nick Ng

About Nick Ng

Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.

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Your hip joints are capable of a wide range of motion, including rotation, flexing back and extending forward. Increasing the flexibility of your hip joints allows you to move with less restriction and minimizes the risk of injuring your knees, hips, ankles and lower back. Dynamic flexibility exercises, where you move while stretching, increases the flexilibility of your hip joint and increases your range of motion.

Active Hip Extension

Step 1

Stand with your feet slightly apart and step back with your left leg. Press your left heel on the ground as you step back.

Step 2

Raise your arms above your head at the same time as you tighten your left buttock to stretch your left hip flexors.

Step 3

Hold the stretch for two seconds. Return to the standing position and lower your arms.

Step 4

Repeat the stretch with your right leg. Alternate each leg during the exercise for a total of 12 to 20 reps.

Three-Point Hip Circles

Step 1

Kneel on the ground. Position your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips.

Step 2

Lift your right knee off the ground and extend it straight behind you. Rotate your leg and circle it toward your ribs, bending your leg as you bring your knee closer to your torso.

Step 3

Bring your right knee as close to your ribs as you can without moving your spine.

Step 4

Perform 10 rotations counter-clockwise and clockwise.

Step 5

Switch legs and repeat on the other side.

Supine Hip Rotation

Step 1

Lie on your back and place your arms straight out to your sides. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.

Step 2

Cross your right leg over your left leg at the knee.

Step 3

Gently stretch toward the left side, keeping your back and hips on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds.

Step 4

Rotate back to your starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Step 5

Switch legs and repeat on the other left side.

Tip

  • Perform an extra repetition to the tighter side at each session until both sides feel about the same, suggests physical therapist Gray Cook, author of "Athletic Body in Balance."

Warning

  • Never stretch beyond your joints' normal range of motion. Doing so will cause your muscles and joints to automatically contract, causing them to become tighter and more painful, explains physical therapist Chris Frederick, coauthor of "Stretch to Win."

References (3)

Photo Credits:

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.