How can I get rid of the tension in my hips?

Both too much sitting and too much exercise can cause tight hips. One of the most common culprits for tight hips is the piriformis. Using the stretch shown in the picture can help release the piriformis. 

Cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Thread your hands through the thigh and pull gently towards you until you feel a stretch deep in your hip. Think about pressing the crossed knee away from your shoulder to activate your hips and you'll increase the stretch. 

If you can't lie on the floor you can sit in a chair and cross one ankle over the other knee. Then with a long spine hinge forward from your hips until you feel that place where you're stretching and can tolerate holding the stretch. 

Stretching tight hips at the piriformis may be just one step. Quite often the hip flexors are also tight. Standing in a lunge position with one leg behind the other think about stretching your tailbone down. You should feel a gentle stretch where at the intersection where your leg and hip meet. 

Keep in mind stretching might help you release tension in your hips, you also want to determine why you are experiencing that tension in the first place. How long has it been there? Is it new or has it existed for a long time? If stretching daily for several days doesn't seem to provide you with relief seek some help from a fitness professional or a physician to find the root cause of the tension. 
A great way to help reduce tension in the hips as well as the lower back is to foam roll the piriformis.  The piriformis is an outer hip muscle that attaches to the lower back and upper part of the thigh bone.  When it gets inflamed or overworked, it creates tension in the hips and lower back region.  To foam roll the piriformis follow the steps below. Sit with the back of one side of the hip/glute muscles positioned on the foam roller.  Cross your same-side foot to your opposite knee to increase pressure on the muscles of the hip (optional).  Next, slowly roll up, down, and across the back of the hip while searching for tender spots.  Once a tender spot is located, apply pressure on the tender spots for around 30 seconds.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.