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.
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 a day, at the office, in the car or relaxing at home. 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 glutes are weak, including the hip flexor muscles. If you're 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 don't even need to be an athlete to have tight hamstrings: they can also be genetic.
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 their speed or distance.
Mobility exercises to prevent tight hips
The best thing you can do to prevent tight hips is to stand up at every chance you get, but there are other stretches you can do to improve your hip mobility.
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.
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.
Performing basic squats will strengthen your glutes preventing tight hips. To get even more from this exercise, hold your squat in the bottom position while shifting your weight from one side to the other.
Doing the above simple exercises will help prevent tight hips and improve your mobility in this area, but if you have persistent pain in any part of your body, it's important to consult your doctor as it could be a sign of an underlying problem.