Gentle stretching improves your circulation, range of motion and flexibility. There are many muscles involved in moving your hips, including your glutes, hip flexors and adductors. If your hip muscles are tight, they can contribute to back pain. Some easy stretches will help you loosen the muscles in this area. By incorporating easy stretching into you daily routine, you'll loosen up your hips over time.
Supine Internal Rotation Stretch
Lie on your back on a firm surface, such as the floor. Bend both knees. Separate your feet wider than hip width. Keep your left knee pointing up to the ceiling. Drop your right knee inward and toward the floor. Your right knee should point toward your left leg. Hold your knee down for a slow, 30-second count. Slowly bring your right knee back up. Repeat with the other leg. Go back and forth slowly between the legs eight to 12 times to loosen the hips. Take slow, deep breaths and with each repetition try to bring your knee a little closer to the floor. If lying on your back is not a good option, you can also do this stretch while sitting on the floor.
Prone Internal Rotation Stretch
Lie on your stomach on the floor. Place your forehead on your stacked palms. Bend both knees so that the soles of your feet are facing the ceiling. Keep your hip bones in contact with the floor throughout this exercise. Lower your right foot outward and toward the floor. You may not be able to go far and still keep the hip bones down; just go as far as you can with good form. Hold your foot out for a slow, 30-second count. Keep your right knee in contact with the floor and do not twist your knee. Bring your right foot back up and repeat with your left foot. Go back and forth slowly eight to 12 times. Take slow, deep breaths and with each repetition try to bring your foot a little closer to the floor. If lying on your stomach bothers your back, try placing a small pillow or blanket underneath your hip bones and stomach to keep your lower back from arching.
Restorative Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
Start by kneeling on the floor. Keep your knees together, but separate your feet. Place a yoga bolster, pile of blankets or a large pillow between your heels and sit down. Stay in position if the stretch is enough for you. If you want a deeper stretch, recline back onto the bolster or pillow. Hold for five to 10 deep breaths. With each exhale try to relax the hips and low back. Build up the pile of blankets or pillows as high as you need. Your head should also rest on the pillows to allow the neck to relax. You may need to put a higher pile under your head than you have under your hips. If this is too much to start with, you can do the "half reclining hero" pose by bending only one knee and keeping the other leg straight out in front.