A Physio Recommends This Exercise To Overcome Tight Hips From Running

Woman lying on her back exercising with a resistance band
(Image credit: Kathrin Ziegler / Getty Images)

If you run regularly, you’ll be familiar with the aches that are part and parcel of this high-impact sport. One of the areas that tend to get stiff is the hips—no great surprise given the important role the muscles around the hips have in running.

Most people turn to hip stretches to reduce stiffness, but this deals with the symptoms, rather than the cause.

“Stretching your muscles may provide temporary relief, but it won't build up the hip's capacity to tolerate more load, whereas strengthening will,” says physiotherapist and certified running coach Richelle Weeks

“When running, your glute medius and minimus—the glute muscles on the outside of your hip—can take two to three times your body weight in peak force with every step,” says Weeks.

“Sometimes, if your glutes are not strong enough to handle this impact, they can start to feel quite tight, especially towards the end of a long run or after a hard workout.”

Recently, Weeks also posted an exercise to her Instagram, which targets the hip rotators, strengthening them so that they’re protected from this impact. 

Take a look at Weeks' Instagram Reel where she demonstrates the move.

“For this exercise place a mini band around your feet and a ball or yoga block between your legs,” says Weeks. “Keep your hips and knees at 90° as you rotate your feet out as far as possible.”

Try to hold the end position for 3-5 seconds and then three sets of six reps.

For more on how to build a body that can better handle the rigors of running, read this expert guide to strength training for runners.

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.