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Internal Hip Rotation Stretches to Unlock Your Hip Flexibility

elderly couple getting ready for internal hip rotation stretches


Achieving and maintaining hip flexibility through internal hip rotation stretches is like unlocking the untapped potential within your hips. Including these types of stretches in your routine will help you live a life with enhanced mobility, improved posture, and a smoother, more agile you. 

So if you feel that you’ve been a little tight in the hips, you’ve come to the right page. Let’s explore some awesome internal hip rotation stretches to help you move with the grace and freedom that’s rightfully yours. Keep reading and you’ll also get more info on the anatomy and benefits behind the importance of these stretches! 

Internal Hip Rotation Stretch: Try These 4 Stretches at Home!

Seated Internal Hip Rotation Stretch:

  1. Sit on the floor with both legs extended straight forward
  2. Bend your right knee and place the sole of your foot against the inside of your left thigh (allowing your right knee to fall out to the side)
  3. Keeping your spine straight, rotate your torso to the left, bringing your chest closer to your right knee.
  4. You should feel the stretch in your inner thigh and hip of the right leg.
  5. Hold for about 30 seconds to a minute if possible.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side (and rotate your torso to the right). 

Standing Internal Hip Rotation Stretch (With Band): 

This will target your hip’s internal rotators.

  1. Anchor a resistance band to a fixed object at your hip’s height.
  2. Stand sideways to the anchor point with the band around the leg closest to it. 
  3. Position yourself a few steps away, creating tension in the band.
  4. Keeping your knee straight, rotate your leg inward across your body, against the band’s resistance.
  5. Hold the stretch position for a moment, engaging your inner thigh muscles.
  6. With controlled movement, return to your starting position.
  7. Repeat for 8-12 reps and switch sides. 

Check out the video below for a great visual and further description.

Supine Knee Fall-Out Stretch

  1. Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor
  2. Allow your knees to fall to one side, keeping your feet together and on the floor.
  3. The stretch should be felt in your inner thigh and the hip of the side where your knees fall.
  4. Hold at each side for about 20-30 seconds.
  5. Return to starting position. 

Here is another variation of this, the Supine Hip Internal Rotation

Stretching Tips:

  • Adjust your range of motion based on your comfort levels
  • Avoid forcing the stretch - do them gently to prevent injury!
  • Stop if you feel any pain or discomfort

  • What Exactly Is An Internal Hip Rotation Stretch?

    Simply put, internal hip rotation stretches target the specific muscles and tendons that allow the inward rotation of the hip joint. These stretches involve movements that open up the hips, targeting inner thigh muscles, hip flexors, and glutes. 

    Whether you’re an athlete or have tight muscles from being sedentary, this type of stretch can benefit you. 

    Having limited hip mobility can be noticeable in many of our daily movements since we use our hips in almost everything - from walking/running to putting on our clothes or getting in the car. Ultimately, this can also affect our knee and lower back function as these areas may try to compensate for any muscle weakness in the hip area. 

    Muscles involved in hip rotation include:

    • Glutes
    • Tensor fasciae latae
    • Adductors longus and brevis

    Internal Hip Rotation Stretch Benefits 

    According to a study found in the International Journal of Sports and Physical Therapy, decreased hip mobility is related to multiple conditions of the hip, lumbar spine, and lower extremity. A key argument made in this article was that less mobility essentially leads to other joint problems since everything is connected. 

    This particular study states, “Limitations in flexion and internal rotation ROM have been implicated as characteristic of hip pathology. Any sport that requires squatting, pivoting, plant and cut, and similar movements will approximate these positions.” [1]

    Effectively using internal hip rotation stretches can help achieve:

    • Flexibility
    • Reduced Stiffness
    • Enhanced hip mobility
    • Facilitate with doing activities of daily living
    • Improve athleticism
    • Prevent injury to lower body
    • Help reduce knee or lower back pain

    Internal Hip Rotation Stretch FAQ

    What causes tight internal hip rotators?

    Here’s a quick list of reasons behind tight internal hip rotators: 

    • Sedentary lifestyle: prolonged sitting leads to tight hip muscles from less flexibility and movement
    • Overuse/Imbalance: Any muscle imbalances can lead to tightness or compensation from other areas
    • Muscle weakness
    • Injury/Trauma: also leading to tightness and less flexibility
    • Bad posture

    How do you stretch the inside of your hip?

    Performing stretches (such as those noted in the above section) that target your adductor muscles (on the inner thigh) can stretch the inside of your hip. Another example is the seated groin stretch which you’ll be able to feel reduce the tightness in this particular area.

    What muscle is responsible for hip internal rotation?

    Also noted in the above section, there are several muscles responsible for hip internal rotation. These include tensor fasciae latae, the glutes, and adductors muscles. Incorporating stretches and exercises that focus on these muscles can enhance hip mobility and function.

    Can lack of hip internal rotation cause back pain?

    The answer to this is an astounding YES. Limited hip internal rotation (or hip mobility overall) can contribute to back pain. The body’s movement mechanics are connected and any limitations can lead to compensation in other areas to make up for it. [1]

    Lack of adequate hip rotation/mobility can lead to added stress to the lumbar spine area and cause discomfort, stiffness, and pain. 

    Internal Hip Rotation Stretch: Conclusion

    While there is a plethora of internal hip rotation stretches out there in the internet world, hopefully, this short list got you started on your path to better hip mobility! If you’re able to incorporate these stretches, you’re not only improving your mobility but also potentially alleviating discomfort in the lower back and enhancing your body’s overall functional movement. 

    No matter your starting point, remember that consistency is key and increase intensity at a gradual pace. Happy stretching! 


    [1] Reiman, M., Matheson, J.W. Restricted hip mobility: clinical suggestions for self-mobilization and muscle re-education. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 2013. 

    [2] Kinesiology of the hip: a focus on muscular actions. Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 2010. 

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