How to Test If You Have Tight Hips and What To Do About It   

How to Test If You Have Tight Hips and What To Do About It

woman laying on a mat stretching pulling her knee to her chest, stretching her hip
Clinical Contributors to this story:
Alexander Shustorovich, D.O.

Whether it’s from sitting too long during the work day, weak core muscles or not properly stretching - tight hips can cause a number of aches and pains.

“Everything in the body works together and is connected – if you have joint pain in one area, that doesn’t mean it is the only joint involved or causing that issue,” says interventional pain medicine physician, Alexander Shustorovich, D.O. “For example, if you have back pain, it could be from tightness in the hip muscles.”

Signs you may have tight hips 

Look for these symptoms:

  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Decreased physical performance in sports and daily activities

If any of these symptoms interfere with your daily life, reach out to your doctor to talk about it.

Movements to Test Your Hip Flexibility

Dr. Shustorovich shared a few stretches to test your hip mobility: 

stretches to test your hip mobility

Before trying these, make sure you:

  1. Are in a safe, clean space, free from clutter or items you could knock into. 
  2. Use a yoga mat or a soft carpet to reduce the impact when doing floor exercises. 
  3. If you’ve had a hip replacement or are unsteady on your feet, Dr. Shustorovich doesn’t recommend trying these at home, and advises seeing a specialist for an evaluation.

If your hips are tight, performing these moves may be challenging or feel uncomfortable. 

What is the Hip Mobility Challenge Safe, and should we try it?

The “Hip Mobility Challenge” is a viral TikTok and social media challenge where participants move through a variety of stretches and exercises to test their flexibility and strength. 

“If you’re interested in trying it out, I’d recommend doing it with a friend nearby for safety and using a soft surface, like a yoga mat, in case you lose your balance,” says Dr. Shustorovich. “If you’ve had a hip replacement, I wouldn’t recommend trying it without guidance from a physician or your surgeon, as you have an increased risk of dislocating your hip."

“This is a good benchmark to see truly how flexible you are – for those who can complete it, it shows that your hip joints can move in the more extreme ranges of motion, which not everyone can do,” adds Dr. Shustorovich.

What are the best ways to treat tight hips?

“Stretching is a great way to increase flexibility in your hips,” says Dr. Shustorovich. “Strengthening exercises are important too, you don’t need weights, you can try body weight squats, lunges, and deadlifts – anything that would strengthen the hip muscles and core.”

stretches and exercises to improve hip mobility

If you’re not finding relief from stretching, a pain management specialist can help come up with a proper treatment plan.

Next Steps & Resources:

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.


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