3 Hip Stretches for Runners

By Rachel Grunwell (coach, yoga teacher, multi-marathoner and author of the book Balance: Food, health + Happiness)

Note: This post was sponsored by the Rotorua Marathon event which is on May 6, 2023. Choose from the full marathon, Red Stag Timber Half Marathon, Go Media 10km, or First Credit Union 5.5km distance. Find more information HERE.

Most runners do the same stretches day in, day out. But did you know there are 2100 yoga stretches to choose from. So, there are so many different ways to stretch each body part. So it’s fun to change it up. It’s also great to find a stretch version that suits your body best. I put a poll out for runners to ask what stretch they wanted most and hips/thighs came up as the most wanted. So here are three ways to stretch your hips:

This standing pigeon pose targets the hip flexors while you are in a standing position. The pose strengthens the standing leg, challenges your balance and focus and is a great option if the ground is wet or dirty! A good cue to remember is to sit back like you are sitting onto a chair. The lower you go, the juicier the stretch! Also, try not to collapse your shoulders. Keep your shoulders back.

Pidgeon pose in recline position is a good option to stretch your hips if you get sore knees – as all the pressure is taken off this area. You can relax your upper body in this pose and just breathe deeply through the stretch on each side. Remember to relax the foot on the side that’s the support for the foot on the knee. Remember to breeeeeeeeathe.
This version sees you flip your pidgeon onto your tummy. The higher the bent leg comes up towards your face, the deeper the stretch – if you wish. Try moving your hips from left to right and feel the nature of this stretch change.
To add a thigh stretch to this pidgeon pose, just reach your hand to the foot and bring the heel towards your glute. The closer the heel comes to the glute, the deeper the stretch. If you can’t reach your foot then use a strap or dressing gown tie and loop it around the foot.
If you want more stretching Inspo, then follow me on Instagram. I share flows and poses there from time to time, as well as wellness and fitness guff.
  • Rachel is a proud ambassador for the Rotorua Marathon and has been sharing coaching, stretching and wellness inspiration with runners in this role for six years now. She has run the Rotorua Marathon event four times, done the half and also conquered the 10km distance last year with her son and other family members. Three of the four times she has done this marathon she has guided blind runners through the Achilles charity. She loves to run, and helps others run too.
  • This is proudly a sponsored post by the Rotorua Marathon