Hip Flexor Exercises
for Improved Mobility

The hip flexors are a group of muscles on the front of your hips that play a key role in your mobility. Walking up stairs or just sitting down in a chair are a couple of the basic movements that are controlled by these joints and muscles. 

Overly tight hip flexors are an everyday problem...and when the hips tighten up it leads to a number of issues and none of them are good.

Fortunately there are a number of stretches and hip flexor exercises that will help keep the hip joints and muscles loose. By including them into your workout routine 2-3 times a week you can stay springy with a satisfying range of motion in your lower body.

Tips for Hip Flexor Exercises

  • Warm up Before Stretching. Always warm your muscles before you start to stretch. Warm muscles and joints are much easier to exercise. You can march in place or walk up and down a couple flights of stairs to get things started.

  • Start Slow. Ease into the stretching and exercises slowly. Improving your flexibility with hip flexor exercises is a progressive routine that is easier and more effective session by session.

  • Don't Overstretch. With normal stretching, you will notice a release of muscle tightness as you hold the stretch. But, if you begin to feel pain or spasms, then release the stretch a little bit or stop altogether. Overstretching to the point of pain can cause straining or even some mild tearing of a muscle or joint.

Hip Flexor Exercises

The best way to improve your flexibility is to train your muscles to stretch beyond their current levels.

But, you need to be careful and slowly work them. The last thing you want to do is push your body past it's physical limits. While exercising to keep yourself limber and pain-free is important at every stage of life, it is even more vital as we get older.

Long-term exercising can help to slow the loss of muscle as we age and also help to maintain joint flexibility. A regular exercise plan can help to delay the development of many age-related changes.

Butterfly Stretch

This is one of the best and most highly recommended hip flexor exercises. It's a yoga influenced exercise that does a great job of stretching your inner thighs, groin, hips, and lower back.

Exercise Instructions:

  • Begin by sitting straight up with the soles of your feet pressed together (as pictured) and your knees bent and sticking straight out to your sides.
  • Engage your abs and lean forward from your hips, pull your heels toward you and slowly push your knees toward the floor as far as you can.

hip flexor butterfly stretch


Only push your knees down until you feel a mild burn and not a jolt of pain. The more you do this stretching exercise the further down you will be able to go.

Supine Hip Flexor Stretch

You can do hip flexor exercises either by sitting, standing, kneeling, or lying on your back in the supine position. The supine hip flexor stretch will relieve tension in your hips and hamstrings and improve your posture.

Exercise Instructions:

  • Lie on you back with your legs extended straight out and slide your left leg back towards your hips, keep your foot flat on the floor and your knee pointing straight up in the air. 

  • Reach down and grab your left leg under your knee (as pictured) and pull your knee up toward your chest. It's important that you are keeping your shoulders and back flat on the floor and that you push down on your right heel as you are pulling the left leg back.

  • Hold the position for 30 seconds and return to your starting position. Repeat the process with your other leg.

supine hip flexor exercises

Straight Leg Raise

This exercise will tighten and tone your hips, abs, and upper leg muscles. The leg raise can also help you to identify serious back problems. If you feel intense back pain while doing the leg raise, that can be a sign of a herniated disk.

Exercise Instructions:

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out and your feet pushed together. Put your arms at your sides or under the lower back with palms facing down for support.

  • Tighten your ab muscles and lift your legs together until they are straight above your hips. 

  • After a brief pause at the top, lower your legs back down to your starting position, but don't let your feet touch the ground between your repetitions.

leg raise hip exercise position 1Kim Demonstrating Leg Lifts
leg raise hip exercise position 2


Make sure your back and shoulders stay flat on the floor and you keep your abs engaged throughout this exercise. 

Benefits of Hip Flexor Exercises

  • Improve your posture
  • Tighten and tone your lower body
  • Prevent injury from too much tightness
  • Stabilize and strengthen your core area
  • Relieve tension and stress
  • Improve speed and performance with stronger hip flexors
  • Keeps the spine healthy and relieves back pain

Hip Flexor Exercises

Even conditioned athletes tend to neglect the area of flexibility. They can bench press their body weight or run a 42K marathon, but they can't do a deep lunge or even touch their toes. Unfortunately, if strength and endurance aren't balanced with flexibility, the risk of injury is greatly increased. One wrong move can damage the back, tweak the neck, or pull a hamstring muscle.

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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