The best exercises for flexible hips

Andreas Lanz 19. April 2018

Anyone who has ever watched a running event from the roadside or on TV will notice how the fastest runners fly over the asphalt with an incredible lightness and elegance. Their movements are smooth and fluid, the effort barely noticeable. One reason for this is good mobility, particularly in the hips.

Conversely, there are quite a lot of runners who struggle with problems for months or even years. Pain in the knees, tense thigh or calf muscles, or problems with the lower back. While the effects of inflexible hips are manifold, they can be effectively combated with the following exercises.

Combining a fascia treatment with range-of-motion exercises for the joints and targeted stretching exercises will lead to the desired result. We show you how it is done:


Goal: to make the fascia supple
Dosage: roll in one direction only from the insertion to the origin of the muscle and at a slow tempo: 1 cm per 2 seconds.

  1. Roll your Achilles tendon and calf
  2. Roll your posterior thigh from the bottom to the top
  3. Roll the inside and outside of your shin bone from the bottom to the top
  4. Roll the inside and outside of your anterior thigh
  5. Roll your buttocks with the ball


Goal: to centre your joints in their sockets and move through them through their entire range of motion
Dosage: go through the whole range of motion 10 times
Material: resistance band or bath towel. Order a resistance band here.

  1. Raise and lower your stretched leg with the resistance band
  2. Move your stretched leg to the side and back 
  3. Move the stretched leg over the other one 10 times (try to keep your pelvis and shoulders on the floor)
  4. External rotation:  

    1. Bend your knee and let it fall outwards and pull the band towards your head at the same time. 
    2. Then stretch out your leg, pushing your foot forwards. 
    3. As soon as the leg is fully stretched, release the band. 
    4. Bend the leg again and repeat the motion sequence 3-5 times. 

  5. Hip opening: 

    1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned out. Bend the upper part of your body and press the palms of your hands on a box or step.
    2. Squat down, look straight ahead and hold your sternum erect. Pull your shoulders down and maintain the pressure on your hands.
    3. Release one hand and stretch it diagonally upwards, while the other hand maintains the pressure on the box.
    4. Switch to the other hand.
    Then place both hands on the box and return to the starting position with a round back.



Goal: to promote economic movement patterns. It brings the muscles into a favourable tension and pre-start state and contributes to motivation.
Dosage: 30 sec


  1. Rear thigh muscles
  2. Couch stretch

    1. Focus on hip flexors: Push your buttocks quite far forward so there is a wide angle at the knee joint.
    2. Focus on external rotation: Push your knee outwards.
    3. Focus on quadriceps: Push your buttocks backwards so there is a narrow angle at the knee joint.

  3. Gluteal muscles

    1. Get down on all fours and pull the right knee forwards to the right hand.
    2. Stretch the left leg as far back as it will go.
    3. The left side of the groin stretches and sinks down while the front of the left leg completely rests on the mat.
    4. Place your right lower leg diagonally in front of you on the mat, so that the right knee lies behind the right hand, and the right foot is as far in front of the left hip bone as possible.

Foto: Datasport