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Hip mobility exercises for runners

Tight hips from sitting all day? Here's how to loosen and strengthen

Many people sit at their jobs for the majority of the day which can cause very tight hips, and hip mobility is crucial for runners. If you’re feeling tight in your hip flexors, back, glutes or hamstrings, your hip mobility could be a contributing factor. Here is a series of exercises that runners can do almost anywhere that will improve both hip mobility and strength, and keep you feeling fast on your runs.

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The 90/90

Start with your legs at 90 degrees, with one forward and the other backward. Move your upper body forward, aiming to get your chin as close to your foot as possible. Keep the movement fluid and only hold at the bottom for a couple seconds. Repeat this motion 10 times and switch sides, placing your right leg forward and your left leg back. This exercise has two variations: holding your forward foot or placing your hands on either side of your forward leg. 

The Yogi Squat (aka the Garland Pose)

Photo: Hanna Kim-Yoo

This pose is often used in yoga practices but is fantastic for runners as well. It looks fairly simple but is actually quite difficult. Lower yourself into a low squat position and bring your arms in front of your knees. Try your best to rock side to side without falling over. Most people struggle to stay upright in this pose, and if you can’t manage to stay on your feet, try dropping slowly into this position while holding onto a railing or pole for balance. 

The 90/90 reach back

This stretch targets your hip flexor specifically. Get into the 90/90 pose and instead of reaching forward, sweep your hand across your body landing over your head with your arm in line with your back leg. Once there, lift your hips off of the ground for an even deeper stretch. 

Inverse table top

This exercise is ideal for warming up and strengthening your entire core. Place your hands just wider than your shoulders and tuck your toes under. Lift your knees off the ground and hold for 30 seconds drawing your stomach in. Keep you back level. Hold for longer as your progress. 

Knee drives

Find a wall and stand at a roughly 45 degree angle. From that position, drive your knee to 90 degrees and hold at the top for two seconds. Make sure to dorsiflex your foot. Jump between positions, alternating legs as you go. 

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