External Hip Rotator Stretches

External hip rotators are muscles in your pelvic region that are responsible for hip-twisting movements such as hitting a baseball or swinging a golf club. Hip muscles have a tendency to tighten from age, injury, inactivity, or any number of degenerative conditions. Keeping your external hip rotators long and loose can help with your overall mobility and keep you pain-free.

A woman stretching on a dock in the morning. (Image: pojoslaw/iStock/Getty Images)

Floor Stretch

An external hip rotator stretch while seated on the floor can be performed anywhere. Sit with your back straight and extend your left leg in front of you. Place the bottom of your right foot on your left thigh; you'll begin to feel the stretch. Keep your foot as close to your crotch as possible. To really feel the stretch, reach forward and place your palms on the floor on either side of your left leg. Don't forget to repeat on the other side.

Chair Stretch

The chair external rotator stretch targets the muscles from a slightly different angle. Your left foot should be flat on the floor, and the right ankle should rest on your left thigh. If you lean forward and place your forearm on the inside of your right leg, you'll feel the stretch as it is meant to be felt. Do both sides.

Back Stretch

Lying on your back is a good way to stretch out your external hip rotators if you're tired or sore. From your back, bend your left knee and place your right ankle on the front of your left thigh. Reach under your left leg, grab it behind the thigh and pull it toward yourself. Keep your right ankle on your left thigh as you pull. Remember to do both sides.

Advanced Stretch

This stretch places extra emphasis on the piriformus muscle in the hip. Sit on the floor with your right knee stretched over and almost in line with your left shoulder. Your right foot is directly in front of your left knee. Press your hips into the floor so the weight of your body is on your right leg. The lower you bend over, the more your right knee will move closer to your shoulder. Your right hip and buttock should feel a good pull.

Runner's Stretch

This effective external hip rotator stretch starts with you on your hands and knees. While keeping your hands on the floor, bend you right knee, bring your right foot forward and place it flat on the floor between your hands. Extend your left leg straight behind you and balance on the ball of the foot. Keep you right knee in a 90-degree angle and lay your torso on your right thigh. Push your left heel toward the floor, hold the stretch 20 seconds and then repeat with your other leg.

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