If you are a keen runner, you likely have a strong conviction and in this case there is only one thing that will stop you running – an injury.
Often avoiding injuries are what keep us on the road running, more than anything else.
No matter how old or young you may be, your experience or otherwise, if you pull your hip or any other joint or muscle in your body then running could likely make it worse and just be unenjoyable.
In this article we are going to discuss some of the best hip exercises and stretched out there for runners, to help them avoid the dreaded injuries that take us off the road.
As well as providing enough of them that you can switch it up so your muscles don’t know what’s coming
Choose one of these exercises or stretches before your next run to really reap the benefits. FInd out below!
Hip Stretches For Runners
Here’s a list of some of our favorite stretches for your hips.
1. The Standing Camel
Stand with your feet wider than the shoulders, although there is some wiggle room.
Put your hands on your lower back with your hands pointing towards your glutes.
Bend your legs a few inches as you press your hands into your lower body pushing your hips, thighs, and butt forwards causing your back to bend backwards.
Pushing on your lower body like this naturally allows you to stretch your hips and naturally allows your back to bend to its own degree.
When you feel your hip start to stretch, hold this for around 5 seconds. Make sure to breathe and keep your core engaged, a wella s allowing your head and neck to be loose and not tight.
2. Standing Lunge Stretch
This requires a box or a step to get elevation on one foot. With one foot firmly planted on the ground, place one foot on the box, with both feet trying to be parallel.
You want your back leg to be in line with your back, ideally at a 45 degree angle, rather than straight. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat with your other foot.
If you can lower your body so that your back leg’s thigh becomes parallel with the floor, this will really stretch out those hips, but could be troublesome for beginners.
Those who aren’t so limber, just hold it when you feel it stretch.
3. Garland Pose (Malasana)
Ideally, we want our feet to be slightly wider than your hips, but firmly planted on the ground.
It can help you put your hands together, as if in prayer, for a later step.
From here gently lower your body down as far as you can go, bending your knees and allowing your butt to almost reach the floor.
To really get a good hip stretch with this, put your hands together as previously advised and put your elbows into your knees, pushing against them without too much force so your hips spread and stretch, applying resistance with your knees as well to get a good stretch.
4. Seated Butterfly Stretch
This is good if you aren’t so mobile, and works on thighs and groin as well as the hips.
Sit on the floor and put the soles of your feet together, like you would with your hands.
Grab onto your toes with both hands and slowly lean forward, attempting to keep your back straight.
Try to lean forwards as much as you can with a straight back.
Another way to get a lot out of the stretch can be to sit up straight and simply apply a little weight to your knees to really stretch out those legs, or just shake them out in this position if that is hard.
5. Seated Head To Knees Pose
This is another seated position that uses pressure to stretch the hip. Sit on your bum and lay your legs out straight in front of you.
Bend one leg so that the sole of your foot can make contact with your inner thigh.
Keeping your back straight, inhale and on the exhale lean forward and reach for your feet or shin.
Flex your right foot to stretch the hips even more. Hold the stretch as long as is comfortable, and then repeat with your next leg.
6. Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)
First things first, this is a bit more of an expert or intermediate stretch or yoga pose, but can be a fun test for those who are more limber, and something to work towards for those who aren’t.
Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you. Try to stretch your legs as wide as they can with your back as straight as possible, feet slightly flexed.
With your palms flat on the floor in front of your hips, try to bring your elbows to the floor, and then try to stretch forward if comfortable, try to reach out as far as you can.
For the experts, if you can get your chin to the floor one addition can be to try and make your chin flat with the floor and even radially move your hands and arms to your feet for a super stretch.
7. Seated Hollywood Stretch
This is an easy stretch office workers commonly do to sort their muscle ailments, and is an easy one for beginners. Simply sit on the floor and raise one knee.
Put your elbow on your inner part of your raised knee and gently push out with your head looking in the direction your hand is pointing. Simply repeat this with your other knee raised.
8. Pigeon Pose
Start on all fours, or table pose, bring your left leg forward until your ankle meets the inner face of your right wrist, then slide your right leg back as far as you can – try to keep your hip facing the front of the room.
When you inhale try to lean up and keep your back straight.
If you struggle with this, keep your left leg closer to your hips and build to it meeting your right wrist. Repeat with your other leg.
9. Frog Rockers
For those who really struggle, this simple exercise can help open hips up for those who aren’t limber.
Simply get in the table position, or on all fours.
Bring your wrists and elbows together, then gently rock on your elbows, back and forwards, with your knees a little wider than your shoulders.
10. Stomach Stretch
Another simple one if you struggle to stretch. Simply lay on your stomach with legs stretched behind your, arms by your side.
Simply bend your leg up and grab your foot. Try to get the leg you are holding off the ground to stretch your hip flexors, and repeat with your other leg.
We hope these leg exercises help you stretch your hips and avoid sore hips, keeping your body nimble and ready to run when you need it to, as well as increasing your mobility and general enjoyment of life.
Make sure to do everything gently first, and hold when you feel the stretch working.