Hip Capsule Stretches

X-ray of the pelvis
A doctor holds up an x-ray to two other doctors. (Image: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images)

The hip capsule is a ligament that connects the top of the leg to the pelvis. The hip is a ball and socket joint like the shoulder. Since it moves freely in a variety of directions, it is easy to damage if it is stretched too far. Increasing the flexibility of the hip capsule extends the range of motion in the hip. Incorporating hip capsule stretches into a daily workout routine will increase hip flexibility and help prevent injury.

Anterior Hip Capsule Stretch

According to Michigan State University, the anterior hip capsule stretch can help rehabilitate a damaged hip joint. Lay face down on a hard surface and bring one knee up toward your shoulder on the same side. Maintain a straight back while doing this. Move the foot of your bent leg under your straight leg. Do this above the knee of the straight leg if you can. Push your hip toward the ground and hold for 30 seconds.

Tonic Psoas Recruitment

The tonic psoas recruitment stretch is often referred to as the hip suck. Lay on your back and place your hand on the front of your hip. Push the hip into the socket until you feel a stretch in the groin. Maintain the stretch for 10 seconds then repeat 10 times.

Deep Hip Rotator Activation

According to Scott Smith of the Sports Injury Bulletin, the deep hip rotator activation helps stabilize the hip capsules. It is often referred to as the heel squeeze. Lay on your back with both knees bent. Press the soles of your feet together then gently lower your knees toward the ground. You will feel an immediate stretch of both hip capsules.

Lateral Line Stretch

According to Joesph E. Muscolino of the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy, lateral line stretches add flexibility to the sides of the hip capsules. This stretch must be done with the help of someone else. Lay on your side with your lower leg bent and upper leg straight. Have the assistant place one hand on the hip and another just above the knee. Apply gentle pressure downward with the hand near the knee while stabilizing the body with the other hand.

Posterior Line Stretch

The posterior line stretch adds flexibility to the back of the hip capsule. Lay on your back and raise one knee while keeping the foot of that leg on the ground. Cross the ankle of the other leg across your bent knee. Gently raise both legs toward your head. You should feel your hip capsule stretch in your buttocks.

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