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How to Fix Tight Hips for Pain-Free Squats

Learn to squat without any hip discomfort.

Learn how to fix tight hips so you can train pain free.

Discomfort in the hips is usually a result of restrictions in your range of motion, related to either rotation or flexion, or lack of strength.

Jeff Cavaliere, from Athletean-X, explains how to fix tight hips for better squats.

How to fix tight hips

1 – Evaluation

Take your hip through three different ranges of motion to evaluate:

  • How much flexion you have
  • How much internal rotation you have
  • How much external rotation you have

Figure out where you have restrictions. If there’s pain during the assessment make sure you check with a qualified medical professional, as you might have issues that can’t be fixed through a YouTube video.

2 – Internal and external rotation restrictions

External rotation is required to get into hip flexion, as you need for squats. If you struggle with hip tightness, try setting up your squats with a wider stance and turn your legs out a little bit.

3 – Hip capsule restrictions

The hip capsule is composed by the surrounding ligaments and structures that hold the hip joint together. You can use a band, a box, and your weight to ease restrictions in the hip capsule.

woman does hip opening exercises by the beachSource: Patrick Malleret on Unsplash

4 – Muscles around the hip

If stretching your hip capsule still doesn’t relieve all the pain, then your discomfort might be fixed through muscular activation.

“The hip has many muscles that cross it or influence its motion. It’s not just the flexibility of these muscles that matters however. You also want to evaluate their strength and their stability,” says Cavaliere.

Hip tightness is often a result for a compensation for instability elsewhere, often in the low back, he explains.

5 – Hip rotator strength

“You will likely be shocked at just how weak your hips are. With the right strengthening exercises, you will be able to quickly address your weaknesses and get your hips feeling right again every time you squat,” says Cavaliere.

If you want to perform other stretches, check out these satisfying hip opening exercises for tight hips.

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