These are a group of muscles connecting the hip and the upper leg and are found at the top of the thighs. These are the muscles that allow you to raise your legs and bend your waist. Having tight hips comes with a feeling of tension around the hips flexors. However, that’s not the only symptom that causes frustration. Even simple movements like walking can become tiresome—and running? Forget about it!
If you have tight hips and have been wondering why it is happening and what to do about them, you’re not the only one. This article will give you information on some of the causes of tight hips and mobility exercises you can do to prevent injuries and reduce daily discomfort.
Why do we get tight hips?
Too much sitting: This is the number one cause of tight hips. You probably spend eight or so hours sitting down in a day, at the office and at the bus or in your car. Also count the hours you sit on your couch watching TV, playing video games, eating, and just relaxing later in the day.
When you sit down, your hip flexor muscles are in a shortened position, inhibiting nerve activity and blood circulation. After a longer period of time, your hips get used to the condition and over time, they actually become shorter than they used to be.
Weak Glutes: Other muscles are forced to compensate when the butt muscles are weak, including the hip flexor muscles. If you are not sure whether you have weak glutes or not, try this simple hip extension test. Lie on your stomach and lift one leg while your knee is straight, if you need to bend your other knee, then you have weak glutes.
Tight Hamstrings: Most people have tight hamstrings. Athletes such as weightlifters and runners have them because of the type of activities they do. You do not need to be an athlete to have tight hamstrings as you can inherit these from your family.
Injury to the Iliopsoas: This type of injury is caused by overuse of the hip flexor muscles. It mostly affects athletes and dancers when they spend more time practicing or suddenly increase the speed or distance.
Mobility exercises to prevent tight hips
Here are some of the movements you can do in order to prevent tight hips: Stand up every chance you get during the day in periodical intervals to walk around—maybe for a glass of water or a bathroom break.
Do the kneeling groin stretch: Kneel down with your front leg bent 90 degrees, hips straight and pointed, lean into the front leg and feel the stretch at the front of your hip and the other leg.
Performing basic squats will strengthen your glutes preventing tight hips. Even better, hold your squat in the bottom position for a while shifting weight from one for to another, or even do this while you brushing your teeth if you can’t find any other time.
Do the standing hamstring stretch: Keeping your legs straight, stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart and bend your hips as far as they can let you.
Rest and restrain from exercising and practicing a lot, to let your body relax and heal.
Doing the above simple exercises will help prevent tight hips but if you have persistent pain in any part of your body, see your doctor as it could be an underlying problem.