If you’re looking for simple outer hip stretches to relieve outer hip pain, you’ve come to the right place. These 10 easy stretches for outer hip pain can be done at home and may provide relief from your discomfort.
Although hip pain is not as common as knee pain, it can still be just as painful and have a dramatic effect on our everyday lives. That’s why it’s important to practice regular stretching and exercises to keep our muscles strong and healthy.
What are the Benefits of Hip Stretches?
Hip stretches offer many benefits, including:
- Improve range of motion and flexibility in muscle groups and hip joints around your thighs, hips, and buttocks, including the gluteus maximus
- Reduce hip muscle and joint pain and inflammation
- Increase strength and stability
- Help prevent injury
Causes of Outer Hip Pain
- Trochanteric bursitis: This is a condition in which the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that cushions between the bone and soft tissue, becomes inflamed. This can be caused by repetitive motions or direct trauma to the area.
- Gluteus medius tendonitis: This is inflammation of the tendon that attaches the gluteus medius muscle to the hip bone. This happens with overuse or direct trauma.
- Piriformis syndrome: The piriformis muscle, a small muscle located deep within the buttocks, becomes tight and irritates the sciatic nerve. This can cause pain in the outer hip area as well as down the leg.
- Nerve impingement: Nerve impingement (or pinched nerve) happens when a nerve is compressed by surrounding tissue. This can cause numbness, tingling, and pain.
- Tight hip flexors: Having tight hip flexor muscles can decrease mobility and cause weakness in your hips.
Stretches for Outer Hip Pain
These 10 stretches for outer hip pain are super easy to do. They’ll target your hamstrings, hip flexors, hip rotators, and gluteal muscles. If any of these stretches are too painful to perform, seek medical advice from your physician, physical therapist, or orthopedic specialist.
Foam Roller Hip Stretch
- Lay on your side, placing the foam roller underneath you.
- Use your hands for support and shift your weight, so the affected area is on top of the foam roller.
- Roll gently up and down your hip and leg to your knee, targeting the hips glutes. This will stretch the front of your hip (quads) as well.
- Rotate your body to the center of the foam roll and work your way around the outer hip to the side of your glutes, your iliotibial band, quadriceps, and hip flexors.
- From the downward-facing position, move your weight to your opposite side and continue rolling in reverse order.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
- Kneel down with your right knee on the floor. Put your right arm up straight and back slightly.
- Maintain the position for 30 seconds, then release. Repeat three times.
- Repeat with the right side.
- Bend your left knee in front of you and extend your right leg behind you.
- Pull your left heel in towards your right hip.
- Point your right hip downward, so it starts to open.
- Put your hands on your left thigh and hold the position. You can also walk your hands out in front of you and rest your torso on your left knee.
- Repeat with the other leg.
This stretch is also great for managing back pain.
Wall Supported Stretch
- Stand next to a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Cross one foot over the other.
- Use the arm that’s closest to the wall as support and raise the arm up and over your head until you feel a stretch.
- Maintain your stretch for 30 seconds, then switch to the other side.
Hip Rotator Stretch
- Bend your one knee and kneel on your other leg.
- Place the foot of the bent knee side on the floor in front of you.
- Lean forward slightly to stretch your right hip toward the floor.
- Squeeze your butt to stretch your hip flexors.
- Hold the stretch for one to two minutes.
- Switch sides and repeat.
- Stand up and place your feet hip-width apart.
- Step your right foot out to the side and place your hands in front of you or on your hip.
- Keep your right knee bent, so your weight is resting on your right side.
- Keeping your left leg straight, lean over to the right until you feel a stretch along the outside of your left thigh.
- Hold for 30 seconds, return to starting position, then repeat on the other side.
- Start by laying on the floor with your knees bent, keeping your lower back and feet flat on the ground.
- Begin moving your legs over from one side to the other while keeping your torso still so you feel a stretch in your outer thighs.
- Repeat this 15-30 times on each side.
- Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart and your upper body straight.
- Bend your knees, then lower your hips as if you were sitting in a chair. Keep your back straight and your knees behind your toes.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stand back up and repeat 2-3 times.
To make it more challenging, hold weights in your hands or place a yoga block under your butt for added support. This stretch helps your inner thigh muscles (hip adductors) as well as the outer muscles.
Figure Four Stretch
- Lie on your back with your knees up. Put your left ankle on your right knee to create a figure four.
- Press down on the cross leg, feeling the stretch in your hip. Hold for up to 30 seconds, then release.
- Repeat for a total of three repetitions, then switch sides.
Forward Fold with Crossed Legs
- Stand with your feet together. Cross the left leg over the right, placing your left foot down outside your right one.
- Reach down toward your right foot and take a deep breath.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other foot.
- Do a total of five reps on each side.
Check out more hip PT exercises.
Managing Outer Hip Pain
Using these outer hip pain stretches can make it easier to manage your pain and get back to your regular daily activities. A physical therapist can provide medical advice and develop a hip exercise plan to mitigate your pain.