Hip injuries, overuse or physical inactivity can lead to tightness in the muscles. This tightness can make it difficult to perform basic hip stretches, such as lunges. Hip muscle tightness can also cause pain in other areas, including the knee, shoulders and lower back, according to "Yoga Journal." Frequently stretching and exercising these muscles can help to reduce hip tightness, alleviate pain and improve exercise or sports performance.
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Apply a heating pad to the hip muscles for 10 minutes. The warmth helps to loosen the tight muscles, preparing them for stretching exercises. Taking a warm shower or bath or going for a short walk can have a similar effect.
Lie on your back and pull your left leg in toward your chest, wrapping your hands around the leg. Hold for five seconds, release and repeat 10 to 20 times on this side. Lower the leg and repeat on the opposite leg.
Perform the "one-legged pigeon pose," a yoga position that loosens tight hip muscles. Start on your hands and knees, then pull one knee toward your chest. Rotate the knee outward and place the leg on the ground. Lower your upper body as far as you are comfortably able, feeling the stretch in your hip and buttocks. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat four times, then perform on the opposite leg.
Lie on your back with your feet pointing forward. Bend your right leg and place your foot flat on the floor. Keeping your knee bent, let your right leg fall out to the right. Your foot will come off the floor so the sole is facing the other leg. Hold for five to 10 seconds, then return to your starting position. Repeat five times, then perform the exercise on the opposite leg.