Doing hip stretches is important before running because they help to improve our hip’s mobility, flexibility, balance, and drive. Hips connect our core muscles and our legs. If your hips are not moving efficiently, your legs will not have the power or speed necessary to run well. Hip mobility or flexibility is very important especially if you are a runner. By doing hip stretches you can avoid common injuries and sprains on your lower body and it can also make you run faster.
Standing Lunge Stretch
Standing Lunge is one of the great hips stretches to target both your hips and butt. Standing lunge contracts your abdominals and the glutes of your rear leg while simultaneously lifting your chest to the ceiling back which will help to increase the stretch to your back leg.
- Stand with your right foot forward and your left foot off to the side, and bend both knees till you are in a lunge position with one knee bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Place your hands on your forward knee.
- Relax your shoulders; keep your hips even; open up your chest, and look straight ahead.
- To stretch your left hip, groin, and thigh, place your feet together, and sit on the floor with your knees bent. Place both hands on your left knee, and press down with them.
- Drive your left hip forward till you feel a stretch in the front of that leg. For 20 to 30 seconds, hold the stretch.
- Let go, and do the same with the opposite leg.
Seated Butterfly Stretch
The butterfly stretch is one of the best hip stretches that has immense benefits and is perfect for all levels, including beginning runners. It’s effective in relieving tightness in your hips and enhancing flexibility before running.
- Sit down on the floor and bring both feet together.
- With the help of your arms, drive your knees down to the floor.
- Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and then slowly release.
Head To Knee Stretch
Head to knee is one of the great hip stretches that was mostly used in yoga sessions. Head to knee is a full forward fold that offers a full stretch from your ankle to your hips which is great for runners. The benefits of head-to-knee pose to runners are vast. In addition to stretching your hamstrings, groin, and spine, this mild spinal twist also calms your mind which helps you become more focused during your run.
- Sit with a straight spine and legs out in front.
- Bend one knee and bring the foot up the inner leg to rest as high up on the inner thigh as is comfortable.
- Turn your torso to face your straight leg.
- Lean your chest out over the straight leg and bring your head towards the knee.
- Do the same to your other leg.
See Also: 10 Hip Stretches for Runners
Pigeon pose is also a yoga exercise that stretches the hip flexors and lower back. This stretching is great for runners because it was a great hip opener that can improve your range of motion, improve your flexibility, and also releases a lot of tension and stress in the body as a whole.
- Start on your hands and knees and bring your left knee forward and out to the left side.
- Slide your right leg back and tuck your right toes under.
- Spread your left toes, elongate the spine, and gaze up.
- Stay in pigeon pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then repeat with the opposite leg.
Knee To Chest Stretch
Another great hip stretch for runners is the knee-to-chest stretch. Knees to chest stretch can help to improve the stability of the hips and increase the flexibility of the hips and lower back.
- Lie on your back with both legs extended.
- Pull your right knee into your chest while keeping the left leg straight and your lower back pressed into the floor.
- Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.Repeat on the other leg.