7 Best Hip Flexor Stretches

7 Best Hip Flexor Stretches


Tight hip flexors are a common problem for many people. Sitting for long periods of time can cause the hip flexor muscles to shorten and tighten over time. Tight hip flexors can lead to lower back and hip pain. Stretching the hip flexors is an effective way to relieve tension, increase mobility, and prevent injury.

What Are the Hip Flexor Muscles?

The hip flexor muscles are a group of muscles located in the front of the hip and upper thigh. The main hip flexor muscles are:

  • Psoas
  • Iliacus
  • Rectus femoris
  • Sartorius

These muscles allow you to lift your knees upward, walk, and maintain good posture. When these muscles become tight, your range of motion is limited and you may experience pain.

Benefits of Hip Flexor Stretches

Stretching the hip flexors has many benefits, including:

  • Improves flexibility and mobility
  • Relieves lower back tightness and discomfort
  • Helps prevent injury
  • Enhances athletic performance
  • Corrects muscle imbalances and postural dysfunctions

Even just a few minutes a day spent stretching the hip flexors can make a big difference in mobility, function, and quality of life.

7 Best Hip Flexor Stretches

1. Kneeling Lunge Hip Flexor Stretch

This stretch is easy to get into and targets the hip flexors quite effectively.

  1. Kneel on one knee.
  2. Place your other leg out in front of you with the knee bent at 90 degrees and foot flat on floor.
  3. Gently lunge forward, keeping your torso upright.
  4. You should feel a stretch in the front of your rear hip and thigh.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

2. Low Lunge with QuadStretch

The low lunge with a quad stretch allows you to target both the hip flexors and quadriceps in one movement.

  1. Start in a low lunge position, one knee on the floor, other knee bent at 90 degrees.
  2. Lean forward slightly, keeping your torso upright.
  3. Reach back and grab the top of the foot on your rear leg, gently pulling the foot toward your buttocks.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, feeling a stretch in the front of your thigh and hip.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

3. Standing Quad Stretch

This standing stretch effectively targets the rectus femoris muscle in an upright position.

  1. Stand tall, engage your core muscles.
  2. Bend one knee, grabbing the ankle with the hand on the same side.
  3. Gently pull the ankle toward your buttocks, being careful not to arch your back.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

4. Frog Stretch

The frog stretch opens up the hips and inner thighs as well as stretching the hip flexors.

  1. Kneel on a soft surface.
  2. Spread your knees wide, keeping your feet together and toes pointing straight back.
  3. Lean forward, placing your hands on the floor for stability.
  4. Hold this deep stretch for 30 seconds.

5. Supine Hip Flexor Stretch

This stretch doesn’t require balance or coordination, making it easier for some people to perform.

  1. Lie on your back, bend one knee placing foot flat on the floor.
  2. Loop a strap or towel around the ankle of the straight leg.
  3. Gently pull the strap so your leg moves up toward your chest until you feel a stretch in the front of the hip.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, relax and switch legs.

6. Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Start in a half kneeling position, one knee up, one knee down.
  2. Contract your glutes and core muscles to maintain stability.
  3. Gently lean your torso forward keeping your back straight until you feel a stretch in the front of your hip.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

7. Butterfly Stretch

The butterfly stretch opens up the inner thighs and hips, while also gently stretching the hip flexor muscles.

  1. Sit upright on the floor, bringing the soles of your feet together.
  2. Grab your feet with your hands.
  3. Gently press your knees toward the floor with your elbows until you feel a stretch in your inner thighs and hips.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

Be sure to perform hip flexor stretches gently, avoiding any sharp pain. Perform stretches regularly after warming up the muscles for best results.


What causes tight hip flexors?

Prolonged sitting, lack of physical activity, muscle imbalances, injury, and pregnancy can cause the hip flexor muscles to tighten over time.

How often should I stretch my hip flexors?

Aim to stretch your hip flexors at least 2-3 times per week after some light warm up activity. Stretching more frequently will provide increased benefits.

Are tight hip flexors linked to back pain?

Yes, tight hip flexors can contribute to lower back tightness and discomfort due to the connection between the spine and hip flexor muscles.

Can stretching fix tight hip flexors?

Yes, consistent stretching along with regular physical activity can help relieve tightness in the hip flexors and restore mobility to the hips over time.

How long does it take to loosen tight hip flexors?

It depends on factors like the severity of the tightness, your age, and consistency with stretching. Most people see gradual improvement in hip flexor tightness within a few weeks of regular stretching.