Outer Hip Stretches

If your outer hips feel tight, stretching can help relieve the tightness. Runners and others who work out can stretch the outer hip muscles and the fibrous tissue of the iliotibial band to help release tension and relieve soreness. Foam rollers are particularly beneficial for relieving tightness in the outer hip muscles and fascia, but you can also perform stretches standing up or lying down.

Runners often need to stretch their outer hips after a run. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Leg Crossover Stretch

Lie on your back on the floor with your legs extended and your arms to the sides. Cross one foot over the opposite knee, bending the upper leg at the knee and keeping the lower leg straight. Use the hand opposite your bent knee to press your knee toward the floor -- for example, if your right knee is crossed over, press down with your left hand. Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite leg. Repeat as many times as necessary on each side.

Standing Crossed-Leg Stretch

Stand up straight with both feet on the floor and your arms at your sides. Cross one foot in front of the other so the toes of your back foot meet the heel of your front foot. Push the hip opposite the crossed foot to the side -- for example, if your right foot is crossed over your left, push your left hip out. Reach toward the floor with the same hand as the crossed-over leg -- for example, if your left foot is in front of your right, reach toward the floor with your left arm. Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite leg. Repeat three to four times on each side.

Lying-Down Stretch

Lie on your side on a massage table or the edge of a bed. Hold onto the surface on which you're lying to maintain your balance. Bring the top leg behind the bottom leg and allow the weight of the top leg to pull it downward. Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite leg. Repeat three to four times on each side.

Foam-Roller Release

Place a foam roller horizontally on the floor and lie on your side with your thigh on top of the roller. Your body and the roller should be perpendicular to one another. Cross the opposite leg -- the leg not on the roller -- over the bottom leg and place your foot flat on the floor. Raise up on your hands with your arms extended and your palms flat on the floor, slightly twisting your upper body. Using your arms, push your body slowly back so the foam roller rolls from your thigh to your hip. When you feel a tight or sore spot, hold for a moment until you feel a release. Roll your body forward again to move the roller back down your thigh. Repeat on the other side.

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