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The 12 Best Adductor Stretches to Fix Tight Hips

Imagine your hip being a ring. The front of the ring would be your hip flexor, the back would be your glutes, and the inside would be your adductors! Even though we often assume ‘tight hips’ with hip flexors, the truth is that there are multiple angles and methods to fix tight hips. 

The adductors, commonly known as the groin muscles, are a common, but sometimes overlooked muscle group that can cause tight hips. But since you now know that your hip and pelvis are on a ring, where each muscle group affects each other, you’ll be sure to not simply use hip flexor and glute stretches to fix tight hips, but also use the best adductor stretches. 


Tight hips are one of the most common ailments the general population suffers from. Even if you do not currently feel pain, tight hips have probably affected your life in one way or another. Whether you feel restricted when bending over or are uncomfortable after sitting for long periods of time, tight hips are an affliction that permeates through many different tasks and outputs. 

As a result, maintaining hip flexibility becomes paramount in order to maintain full body function. The hips are such a powerhouse (along with the thoracic spine) because of their ability to freely rotate, and maintaining hip flexibility is the primary technique for injury prevention and healthy hips. 
In particular, the adductors, which consist of 3 muscles on the inside of the thigh, assist with hip and knee mobility. Without flexibility in the adductor region, the hip will be unable to perform its responsibilities and weightlifting may be difficult. The benefits of incorporating adductor stretch into your routine are enormous - reduced pain, delayed onset muscle soreness, knee and lower back protection, sports performance, and more. 

The Best Abductor Stretches

1. Knee Lifts

Knee lifts are a solid barometer to measure your hip flexibility since hip tightness in the left leg will directly impact the right leg and vice versa. Targeting the entire hip complex, including the adductors, knee lifts are very functional and can work exceptionally well as a warm-up stretch before activity. 
Here are the steps:

  1. Start by standing tall with your arms by your sides
  2. Then, raise your right leg up so your knee is at waist height.
  3. Next, grab your right shin/knee with both hands and gently pull your leg higher, hugging it up your chest. If you feel any hip tightness, you can gently arch your spine to bring your leg higher. 
  4. With control, drop your right leg back down to the ground. Repeat 10x and switch sides.

2. Seated Twists

The rotational capacity of your hip is an important lever in gaining hip mobility. Seated Twists put both your spine and hip in rotation, and utilize the adductor muscles to function correctly. If you want to loosen tight hips, seated twists are a great place to start. 

  1. Start sitting cross-legged, keeping your chest tall.
  2. Then, place your right hand on the ground behind you, and turn your chest and sternum to the right, while bringing your left hand to the outside of your right thigh
  3. Take 5-10 deep breaths. Return back to the center and twist to the left. Repeat the same breath pattern.

3. Chair Stands

Achieving hip mobility is not only about creating the capacity for range of motion but also being able to control your body at larger ranges of motion. Chair Stands will help activate the quads, glutes, hip flexors, and adductors so your muscles and joints have the resiliency to keep any new ranges of motion.

Here are the steps:

  1. Start standing in front of a chair 
  2. Next, cross your arms by placing each hand on the opposite shoulder. Your left hand should be on your right shoulder and your right hand on your left shoulder.
  3. Then, powering up from your legs, stand straight up coming to full knee and hip extension. Try to keep your spine neutral when standing up. 
  4. Once you’re standing tall, slowly control your way back down, pushing your hips backward as you sit back in the chair. 
  5. Repeat 10x 

4. Spinal Twist

Your adductors need freedom of movement in all directions to stay loose, so any type of rotational stretch, including this spinal twist, will effectively increase flexibility in the hips and spine for many different activities and sports, such as golf or tennis.
Here are the steps:

  1. Lay on your back and hug your right knee into your chest. Let your right arm extend wide out to the right. 
  2. Using your left hand, guide the right leg up and across the body to the left.
  3. Now, let your knee fall to the left. The bottom leg stays straight. Release your left arm to the left and if comfortable, bring your gaze to the right. 
  4. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side  

5. Hip Flexor Stretch

Unlocking the adductor also entails releasing the hip flexors. In many cases, when the adductors feel tight, it’s because they are working too hard to make up for deficiencies nearby (i.e. hip flexor). Equally distributing the workload across all angles of the hip complex, including the front hip flexor, is key for increasing hip mobility and releasing tension in the adductors. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Start facing a wall with your right foot in front of the left. Your right foot should be about 12 inches from the wall, while your left should be about 24 inches from the wall.
  2. Then, lean forward so your hands are pressed against the wall. 
  3. After that, bend your right knee and begin to drive forward from the back left hip. This should push your right knee forward while feeling a stretch in the left hip flexor.
  4. If you do not feel a stretch in the back hip flexor, move your left foot further back to create a longer stride. 
  5. Hold for up to 20 seconds in the end range position.
  6. Switch sides and repeat. 

6. Hip Extensions

Hip Extensions will mainly target the glute, lower back, and hamstring, but the benefit to hip extensions is their compound effect on the adductors. When looking to improve hip flexibility, many muscles have to work cohesively to achieve a foundation of strength and mobility (something dancers can understand). If one cog (or muscle) in the wheel neglects to do its job, it impacts the rest of the muscles’ responsibilities. As such, the best adductor stretches sometimes do not primarily involve the adductor, but rather the posterior hip in hip extensions! 
Here are the steps:

  1. Start standing with a wall or chair about 6 inches in front of you and place your hands there for support 
  2. Then, keeping your spine neutral, lift the left foot off the ground and extend it behind you to your maximum limit.
  3. Remember, only extend the leg as far back as you can without compensating in the lower back and letting it arch. The spine must remain neutral. 
  4. Return to the starting standing position and repeat 10x each leg. 

7. Hip Abductions

Hip abductions are a movement partner with the adductors. Getting your hip to adduct and abduct efficiently is a necessity to be a good mover or even a kickboxer. The focus here would be the outside lateral hip, and using hip abductions to alleviate tightness in the hips. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Start standing with a wall or chair about 6 inches in front of you and place your hands there for support 
  2. Then, keeping your spine neutral, lift the left foot off the ground and extend it laterally out to the side.
  3. Remember, only extend the leg as far out as you can without compensating in the hip and leaning to the opposite side. The hips and spine must remain neutral. 
  4. Return to the starting standing position and repeat 10x each leg. 

8. Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose can be both a warm-up exercise for your hips in extension, as well as a flexibility or strength exercise. If you have a good hip extension, it will greatly benefit your adductor muscles, lessening the amount of load that your adductors take. When you open and strengthen the hips, the adductors can ultimately do their job without interfering with another muscle’s responsibility. 

Here are the steps:

  • Lay on your back on your Yoga Strong Mat and place your feet on the ground, shoulders distance apart, directly underneath your knees. 
  • When in place, pull the belly button towards the spine and on an inhale, press into your feet to lift your hips up and off the mat, pulling your chest towards your chin.
  • Hold for 5 breaths.

9. Lateral Lunge

Lateral lunges are intended to directly attack the adductor muscles in a functional movement. Since the inner thigh is a powerful muscle that can affect your knee, hip, and lower back, the functional nature of the lateral lunge will help you improve flexibility in the groin, and gain better access to lower body movements and positions that you need for activities and daily tasks. 

Here are the steps:

  • Start standing in a wide base, with both of your feet about 12 inches wider than shoulder width. 
  • To begin, bend your right knee and sink your butt, while you lean into the outer right hip and maintain a straight left leg.
  • You should then feel a nice pull into the left groin. If not, make a wider stance.

10. Child's Pose

With many of the previous stretches’ focus on hip extension, balancing that out with stretches in hip flexion, such as Child’s Pose, can have benefits towards muscle repair and improving hip flexibility. As a resting posture, Child’s Pose aids in stretching and relaxing the hip adductors, making for a well-rounded hip flexibility program.  

Here are the steps:

  1. From all fours, bring your knees slightly wider than your hips, nearly a mat-distance apart. 
  2. Keeping big toes to touch, push your bum towards your feet. 
  3. Keeping your hips back, begin to lower your chest, head, and shoulders to the mat. 
  4. Then, forehead releases to the mat, and arms stretched long forward. 
  5. Let elbows soften and hold 5 breaths. 
  6. For more attention to the adductors, bring your knees out wider. 

Other Ways to Treat Tight Hips

Complementing your adductor stretches with other techniques will give you the best chance to treat tight hips effectively. Using a comprehensive approach to hip flexibility and health will help reinforce the work you’re putting in with the stretches so that your hard-earned range of motion can stick. 

In particular, foam rolling, massage, heat, and movement will serve as the ideal supplementary methods to increasing and then maintaining hip flexibility. While stretching is certainly integral, your body sometimes may need some extra TLC. 

Foam Rollers

Foam rolling, or self-myofascial release, is a valuable tool for achieving the hip flexibility you desire. A foam roller’s ability to manipulate the soft tissue to increase muscle pliability is very beneficial.  

When foam rolling, use a Yoga Strong Roller, get on the ground, and spend at least 1 minute rolling on each major muscle group. For the hips, make sure you’re rolling your hamstrings, glutes, thoracic spine, and quadriceps. Each of these surrounding muscles can affect your hip mobility, so you want to hit all of them. 
As you roll, try not to pull your body away from the roller, and allow your body to sink into the roller for maximum benefit. If you find an especially sensitive spot, stop and hold on to that position for 10 seconds to let the tension dissipate. Listen to the signals of tightness in different muscles, and you will make the most out of your rolling. 


When the hips feel tight, sore, or painful, the blood flow is often stagnated or there are adhesions that need to be broken up. In these more intense cases, getting a massage from a licensed therapist can help you find relief. Massages do work best when combined with other treatment methods, such as stretching and foam rolling, but massage therapists are very skilled at loosening up the fascia that is creating tightness.

A variety of different methods can be helpful, from shiatsu to deep tissue, to trigger point therapy, depending on your needs. To target the adductor muscles, a combination of all massage techniques may be used to increase blood flow and release tension. 


Heat is another way to treat tight hips. Whether using a heating pad, or hot bath, or another method, the muscle relaxation benefits that heat offers, will help keep your muscles and joints limber. Increasing blood flow to an injured or tight area is key in fighting tightness, and heat can flush new, good blood directly to the painful site. 

However, it is important to note a  precaution. First, you should not apply heat in the first 48-72 hours after an injury. After 72 hours is the best time to use heat as an injury management technique. If only using heat for preventative measures, then you can use it as needed. 


Once you gain an additional range of motion through foam rolling, stretching, massage, and heat, your body needs to have the ability to lock in that range of motion. By hopefully securing your new range of motion, you will be able to prevent future injuries or flare-ups that hamper your ability to work out. 

And the ideal way to do this is through regular movement. Through consistent movement, you will teach your body to use your range of motion and reinforce successful movement patterns. This may mean incorporating dynamic stretches or bodyweight strength exercises but incorporating movement breaks into your daily routine will serve as a big stepping stone towards keeping your hips healthy and functional for the long run. 


As you have now found out, using adductor stretches is one of many resources you have at your disposal for opening tight hips. The adductors are also part of a hip complex that pushes and pulls with and against each other to make your hip function, making it even more important to have a targeted stretching routine! Go ahead and use this as a guide for implementing a routine that you can accomplish within the confines of your schedule. 

Just don’t forget the importance of hip flexibility to overall full-body health! The hips can be sensitive to changes throughout the rest of the body, so do not hesitate to consult a healthcare professional if you need more personalized advice and guidance.