In this article: Discover the best yoga poses for tight hips and their benefits!
If you’re looking for ways to release tightness in your hips, yoga can be a great option. In fact, it’s a fantastic way to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your hips.
Practicing specific poses that target the hip area can also help increase flexibility, reduce stiffness, and ease discomfort.
Read on to discover the best yoga poses for tight hips and their benefits.
Note: Affiliate links may be used in this post. We may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through our affiliate link. Read our full disclosure policy here.
What is the best type of yoga for tight hips?
There are various types of yoga that can be beneficial for tight hip muscles.
Restorative and Yin Yoga poses focus on stretching out the connective tissues around your joints. This can help improve flexibility in your hips and reduce pain associated with tightness.
These slower-paced practices also give you time to properly align yourself in each pose so that you really benefit from them.
Hatha yoga is another great option. This yoga style focuses on basic postures and involves gentle stretching.
It also emphasizes breath control and mindfulness. This helps you stay focused during the session and encourages you to make mindful choices about your posture alignment.
Regular practice will definitely help keep your hips flexible over time.
How do you loosen up tight hips with yoga?
The key to loosening up tight hips in yoga is to start with gentle poses to warm up the muscles around your joints and then gradually move on to deeper stretches.
Forward fold is an easy standing pose you can start with. Alternatively, you can try the butterfly pose, a seated posture.
Once you’re comfortable with these poses, you can try some hip opener postures like pigeon pose. This pose really targets tight hip muscles.
Finally, always end each session with a few restorative poses so that your body has time to relax and integrate all of the benefits of the practice.
15 Best Yoga Poses For Tight Hips
Here are 15 yoga poses for tight hips that will help you loosen up those stiff muscles:
1. Butterfly pose – Baddha Konasana
Butterfly pose is one of the best yoga postures for releasing tight hips. It stretches the inner thighs, groin, and knees and also strengthens the hip muscles.
When practiced regularly, this pose can help improve flexibility in the hips and reduce pain caused by tightness.
To get into this pose, start in a seated position on your yoga mat with your legs extended in front of you.
Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to drop out to the sides.
Hold onto your ankles or feet with your hands, keeping your spine long and your shoulders relaxed.
You can use your elbows to gently press your knees towards the ground for a deeper stretch.
2. Garland Pose – Malasana
Garland pose, or Malasana in Sanskrit, is another great yoga posture for targeting tight hips.
When practiced regularly, this asana can help improve flexibility in the hips.
Begin in mountain pose. Then, bend the knees and lower your butt toward the floor to come into a low squat position.
Bring your hands at the heart center in a prayer position and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.
Keep your heels on the ground and your spine long.
For maximum benefits, try to stay in this pose for at least 5-10 breaths.
3. Frog Pose – Mandukasana
Frog pose improves overall flexibility and range of motion. It also stretches the back muscles and can help relieve lower back pain too.
Begin in a tabletop position with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
From here, push your knees out to the sides. Don’t force the stretch. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, take some time to breathe before you continue pushing.
Turn your feet sideways, making sure you are resting on your inner feet.
Then, lower down onto your forearms, palms flat against the floor.
Hold this pose for as long as it feels comfortable.
4. Reclined Hand to Big Toe – Supta Padangusthasana
This pose offers a stretch to the hips, hamstrings, and calves. It also strengthens all the muscles around the knees.
To get into this pose, start by lying down on your back.
Bring your right knee to your chest and place a yoga strap around the ball of your foot.
Hold onto both ends of the strap with your hands before gently extending your leg up towards the ceiling, keeping it as straight as possible.
If you don’t have a strap, you can place your hands behind your thighs to hold your leg straight or grab your toes directly with your hand if you have the flexibility to do so.
Make sure to keep your shoulders flat against the ground during this stretch and hold for 10 breaths.
Switch sides and repeat with the other leg.
5. Cow Face Pose – Gomukhasana
Cow face is another classic hip opener that can provide deep release in tight hip muscles. However, this pose requires some flexibility.
Start by sitting up straight and crossing your right leg over the left, so that the knees are stacked one on top of the other.
Stretch your arms out to the sides, palms facing forward.
Then, sweep your right arm behind your back, walking your hand up between your shoulder blades, palm facing outward.
Bend the left elbow and reach down for the right fingertips. Hook your hands together if they reach.
Stay in this position for a few breaths.
6. Happy Baby – Ananda Balasana
Happy baby is a great pose to release tightness in the outer hips and back. This calming pose is also good for realigning and stretching the spine.
Begin by lying down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Then, bring both knees into your chest.
Next, grab onto the outside edges of each foot with your hands before gently pushing your feet up towards the ceiling.
This should create a stretch through your inner thighs and hips.
You can gently rock back and forth or from side to side if it feels good to you.
I would recommend doing this pose at the end of your yoga session as it is very relaxing!
7. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose – Ardha Matsyendrasana
Half Lord Of The Fishes is a seated twist pose that can provide deep release into tight hip muscles.
Begin by sitting up straight with both legs extended in front of you, then cross your right leg over the left and bring your feet towards the outside of your left hip.
Press your sitting bones down and lengthen your spine.
Gently twist your torso to the left and place your right elbow on the outside of your left knee.
Keep your left palm to the floor just behind your sit bones.
Hold this pose for 10 breaths. Then, repeat on the other side.
8. Tiger Pose – Vyaghrasana
Next on our list of the best yoga poses for tight hips is the Tiger pose.
This dynamic yoga posture is perfect for improving the spine’s flexibility and strengthening the abdomen, legs, and hips muscles.
To get into this pose, start in tabletop position with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
Extend your right leg back, keeping your toes pointed and your foot flexed.
Then, reach the right foot up towards the ceiling, arching the spine and looking up at the ceiling.
Hold this pose for a few seconds and repeat on the other side.
If you have the flexibility and balance, you can try to grab your foot with the opposite hand.
9. Low Lunge Pose – Anjaneyasana
Low Lunge is an easy yoga posture that is perfect for warming up the body and preparing for more challenging poses. It also helps relieve tight muscles in the hips and legs.
Begin in Downward Facing dog position.
Then, step your right foot forward and place it between your hands.
Lower your left knee to the ground and slide the foot back until you start feeling a stretch in the left hip.
Lift your chest and sweep your arms up alongside your ears.
You can gently come into a backbend if you want to deepen the stretch a little bit.
10. Lizard Pose – Utthan Pristhasana
Lizard pose is a deeper hip opener that can help release tightness in the outer hips and lower back. It opens the hips, hamstrings, groins, and hip flexors.
You can start this pose from Low Lunge with your right foot forward and your left foot extended back behind you. Lower your left knee to the ground.
Place both hands on the inside of your right foot and slowly begin to slide your right foot out towards the right side.
If you have the flexibility, you can lift your left leg to deepen the stretch or rest on your forearms.
11. Pigeon Pose – Kapotasana
Pigeon Pose, also known as Kapotasana, stretches the hip flexors, thighs, and glutes. It also improves flexibility and range of motion and stimulates digestion and circulation.
To get into Pigeon pose start in tabletop position. Bring your right knee forward and place it behind your right wrist, with your right ankle close to your left wrist.
Stretch your left leg out behind you, keeping your toes tucked under.
Slowly lower your hips towards the ground, keeping your right shin parallel to the front of your mat.
If you feel comfortable, begin to walk your hands forward, lowering your torso towards the ground.
Rest your forearms on the ground in front of you, or if you can go deeper, bring your forehead down to the ground.
12. Reclining Pigeon – Supta Kapotasana
If Pigeon Pose feels too intense for you, try this alternative version that provides a gentler stretch to the hips.
Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
Cross your right ankle over your left knee to create a figure 4 shape.
Use your hands to gently pull your left thigh towards your chest, bringing your right knee closer to your torso.
Flex your right foot to protect your knee and hold the pose for 5-10 deep breaths.
To release, gently release your left leg and uncross your right ankle.
Repeat on the other side.
13. Camel Pose – Ustrasana
Camel Pose is another asana that provides numerous benefits, including stretching the entire front body, improving spinal flexibility, opening the chest and shoulders, and stimulating the digestive and respiratory systems.
To get into the pose, begin by kneeling on your mat with your knees hip-width apart and your toes tucked under.
Place your hands on your lower back with your fingers pointing down towards your hips and your elbows close to your sides.
Then, lift your chest up towards the ceiling, drawing your shoulders back and down.
Slowly begin to arch your back, leaning back towards your heels.
If you feel comfortable, release your hands from your lower back and place them on your heels, keeping your fingertips pointing towards your toes.
Keep your neck in a neutral position, or if it feels comfortable, release your head back.
Hold the pose for 5-10 deep breaths, or longer if it feels comfortable.
14. Wide-Legged Forward Fold – Prasarita Padottanasana
Wide-Legged Forward Fold stretches the hamstrings, inner thighs, and hips. It can also help calm the mind and improve overall balance and stability.
This pose is especially beneficial for those who sit for long periods of time.
Start by standing at the top of your mat with your feet hip-width apart. Then, step your feet wide apart, approximately 3-4 feet, depending on your comfort level.
Turn your toes slightly inward and your heels slightly outward. Lengthen your spine, drawing your shoulders back and down.
Slowly begin to fold forward, hinging at your hips, keeping your spine straight.
Place your hands on your hips, or bring your palms to the ground between your feet.
If you feel comfortable, you can walk your hands forward, bringing your forearms or palms to the ground.
15. High Crescent Lunge – Ashta Chandrasana
The last pose you can try to loosen up your hips is High Crescent Lunge.
It’s a great posture for building strength In the legs, glutes, and core muscles. It also improves balance, stability, and coordination.
To get into this pose, start in Downward Facing Dog.
Then, lift your right leg up into Three-Legged Dog. Bring your right foot forward between your hands.
Plant your right foot firmly on the ground, with your knee directly above your ankle.
Lift your torso up, bringing your arms overhead.
Keep your shoulders relaxed and draw your tailbone down towards the ground.
By practicing these poses regularly, you’ll be able to loosen up your tight hips and reduce pain or discomfort in the lower body.
However, always remember to listen to your body and only practice poses that feel comfortable or attainable to you.
What yoga poses have you tried for your tight hips? Let me know in the comments below!