How to Fix Tight Hips (WITHOUT STRETCHING!)

  • Published: 13 June 2019
  • If your hips feel tight when you squat, and you’ve tried every stretch to try and loosen them up and it isn’t working, then you need to watch this video. Here I’m going to show you the real reason why your hips feel tight and what you can do to make your squat better. I will take you through a step by step process for identifying the real root cause of your hip tightness and how to fix the problem without ever having to stretch your hip flexors.

    We start with an evaluation that can be done at home just laying on the ground. You want to test your range of motion of each hip into flexion, internal rotation and external rotation. While this is easier if you have a therapist to do it for you it isn’t necessary to get the information that you need to move forward. Once you find the restriction in your range you can start to address the issue. In Jesse’s case he has tightness into external rotation of his left hip.

    This is actually quite a common problem. Hip internal rotation restrictions are also common but more often when the issues are driven by arthritic changes in the hip or from an acetabular impingement that would likely cause a good amount of pain with the testing. If you are looking for things that you can fix more easily however, you will likely find that external rotation is limited.

    This is especially important when you realize that it is often coupled with a limitation in flexion. The combination of flexion and external rotation is something that is critical to performing a properly executed squat. The first thing you can do is skeletally make some changes to ease the demands on your body. You would want to rotate your legs outward (not just your feet) and take a somewhat wider stance. These will allow the bones in your hip to clear into flexion without experiencing a natural anatomical block.

    If this improves your range but you still feel issues and tightness in your hips then you want to move to the next level and look at the hip capsule. Here is where most of the restrictions will lie. Try the combo hip external rotation and flexion mobilization shown here and assess how you feel in the squat once again. If you see complete correction then you know you need to work on this more. If you see some improvement but not all then you need to keep going to the point of evaluating the muscles around the hips.

    The hip has many muscles that cross it or influence its motion. It’s not just the flexibility of these muscles that matters however. You also want to evaluate their strength and their stability. If the hips are tight they are likely getting called to do a job they aren’t supposed to be by a stabile joint that isn’t doing it’s job. The hip tightness is being recruited as a compensation for instability elsewhere, often in the low back. Watch as this unfolds and how to correct this.

    Finally, you want to check for the intrinsic strength of the hip rotators. You will likely be shocked at just how weak your hips are. With the right strengthening exercises, you will be able to quickly address your weaknesses and get your hips feeling right again every time you squat.

    If you find this video helpful and think you could benefit from a step by step program that puts the science back into strength, head to the link below and get one of the ATHLEAN-X Training Systems. Start approaching your training seriously like a pro athlete would and you will start seeing the benefits of doing so.

    If you want more videos to help you correct other hip related issues like anterior pelvic tilt or tight hamstrings, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on RUclip and turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.

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Comments • 1 774

    ATHLEAN-X™   4 months back

    *NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY* - Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember whiners who can't read, it's NOT THE FIRST 100, but 100 randomly selected WITHIN the first HOUR the video is published. Don't b*tch if you're not one of them :) Just try next time. Click to see if you’ve won. Good luck!

    If you don’t win, no worries. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

    • IcedTails
      IcedTails  4 weeks back

      I never knew I had this issue!!! Turns out I have really weak external hip rotators.

    • Ibn Maliki
      Ibn Maliki  2 months back

      i have a question.
      If the lack of hip-mobility is a cause of the lower back as mentioned in the video, then how would u then test the lower back..

      Ps. thanks for gems :o)

    • first last
      first last  4 months back

      damn jeff aint toleratin snowflakes

    • obstinateaggy
      obstinateaggy  4 months back

      Toupieyxhxjcjy jcu j codj d kdjebxu

    • wallieL84
      wallieL84  4 months back

      first time lucky?

  • Gooozooo Giizii
    Gooozooo Giizii  1 days back

    Great expectations. On point. Can you please give more external rotator exercises to help strengthen the hip?

    • Ahmed Muhammed
      Ahmed Muhammed  2 days back

      I feel like Jeff Cavalier can stop Worldwar 3.

      • estetty
        estetty  2 days back

        That test showed me that my left knee almost didn't rise at all from the ground.

        • Mino Sorribas
          Mino Sorribas  2 days back

          This video is amazing! 15 minutes of practical information! I've learned so much. Thank you and thumbs up!!!

          • Holmes 45
            Holmes 45  3 days back

            I learn a lot watching your vids man

            • Varun Khanna
              Varun Khanna  5 days back


              • Anthony Perri
                Anthony Perri  1 weeks back

                Hi ATHLEAN - X....What about weak abs on one side? Through my own experimentation I believe my tight left hip capsule is caused by the left side of my core not providing the necessary stability for my spine (I also have some tightness in lower left back). What ways are there to 'turn on' the core, and specifically, one side of the core over the other, without unintentionally adding the hip flexor into it?

                • Flor Duran
                  Flor Duran  1 weeks back

                  Are my IT bands tight because of Spin classes?

                  • Tony Rabone
                    Tony Rabone  1 weeks back

                    This is the daddy of all hip videos. Amazing quality of information and a hierarchy of treatments.

                    • j t
                      j t  1 weeks back

                      What is you have some bony spurs on one hip and pulling leg outward is limited. Is their anything can be done? I am taking anti inflammation foods as my hip surgeon who messed up the operation said their is osteoarthritis. I know i lack external rotation strength in this hip

                      • Jaza457 James
                        Jaza457 James  2 weeks back

                        Further demonstrating why you are the 'man', bro. Great video!

                        • chriss4365
                          chriss4365  2 weeks back

                          Raymond has seen better days.

                          • MasonRyderKaplan
                            MasonRyderKaplan  2 weeks back

                            My left internal rotation is awful. Is there anything other than clamshells I can do? Something without a band? Also. Have knee pain and wrist pain and i have no idea why?

                            • Meredith Shippey
                              Meredith Shippey  2 weeks back

                              What should I do if I have pain in my right hip and a week left Glute?

                            • Joe Masterman
                              Joe Masterman  2 weeks back

                              Tight posterior capsule... anyone else feel tingles from those words all snuggled up together??

                              • Lucie veilleux
                                Lucie veilleux  2 weeks back

                                In my case it's not tightness but pain.

                                • Dante
                                  Dante  2 weeks back

                                  My hips start to cramp when I internally rotate them. Any idea why?

                                  • Millie
                                    Millie  3 weeks back

                                    i dont understand why strengthening your inner tighs helps with external rotators, wouldnt it pulll them in?

                                    • Holypikemanz
                                      Holypikemanz  3 weeks back

                                      The solution was stretching the muscle but the description says no stretching. No big deal but title was predictably stupid.

                                      • Nicholas Blake
                                        Nicholas Blake  3 weeks back

                                        Jeff straight up you are the goat of human physiology. This helped me a lot and I appreciate the information and advice!

                                        • nicknasser713
                                          nicknasser713  3 weeks back

                                          Love your videos. When you were taught things wrong and did them wrong for so long these videos really help to understand what I've been doing wrong, why and how to make changes. Thanks for doing what you do

                                          • A Rod
                                            A Rod  4 weeks back

                                            My hip bones pop out what should I do to build fat or muscle around them especially the back

                                            • Millie
                                              Millie  4 weeks back

                                              wow that external strength test really got me. i couldn't lift it at all lmao

                                              • Derek Price
                                                Derek Price  4 weeks back

                                                Watch your videos the time

                                                • Young Suit
                                                  Young Suit  1 months back

                                                  interestingly enough, i have good external rotation, but internal rotation is hard for me and i feel it in my back, even when just doing simple things like windshield wipers with my knees

                                                  • Joe Beararms
                                                    Joe Beararms  1 months back

                                                    Great video and great t-shirt, Jesse.

                                                    • mohammed uddin
                                                      mohammed uddin  1 months back

                                                      Can't believe it Jeff with the W again. Jeff for prime minister

                                                      • Michael Bernardo
                                                        Michael Bernardo  1 months back

                                                        I joined the gym 6 months ago and still no progress. Time for me to come in person to ask what is going on.

                                                        • ikestat
                                                          ikestat  1 months back


                                                          • Hong Fei Bai
                                                            Hong Fei Bai  1 months back

                                                            I haven't seen Raymond on the channel much lately. I thought he was dead.

                                                            • Jaleel Francis
                                                              Jaleel Francis  1 months back

                                                              Can you do a video on deadlifting for taller people. - I was recommended to do slightly raised deadlifts because I hinge forward a bit on the way down while doing proper form?

                                                              • Elle Membs
                                                                Elle Membs  1 months back

                                                                Thank you so much, I have learner a tremendous amount, just wish I had your personal equivalent to get through my rehab. 💐

                                                                • Surya kant singh
                                                                  Surya kant singh  1 months back

                                                                  I have the reverse of this, limited internal rotation, how to go about that?

                                                                  • Surya kant singh
                                                                    Surya kant singh  1 months back

                                                                    @Logan Vogthello brother, I think sports physiotherapist should be able to help.. So far I have been trying to work on internal hip rotation mobility, doing side lunges to stretch adductors, side leg raises to strengthen glute medius, hip bridges etc

                                                                  • Logan Vogt
                                                                    Logan Vogt  1 months back

                                                                    Surya kant singh I have the same problem and was wondering the same thing. All he says is you want to go see someone about it, but who is he referring to?? A physical therapist? Unfortunately physical therapists that I have seen are massively under qualified and don't know much at all. So it's like who do we need to see to fix this ?

                                                                • Austin Hudson
                                                                  Austin Hudson  1 months back

                                                                  Brooo this video made me realize how fucking bad my external rotation is.

                                                                  • Tommy Nguyen
                                                                    Tommy Nguyen  1 months back

                                                                    Doing a split is a great help

                                                                    • FromBeToReality
                                                                      FromBeToReality  1 months back

                                                                      THUMBS UP!!!!
                                                                      then watch!

                                                                      • Shantanu Chaudhary
                                                                        Shantanu Chaudhary  1 months back

                                                                        Am I the only one here who thinks Jesse looks like Jake Gyllenhaal ?

                                                                        • nozrati
                                                                          nozrati  1 months back

                                                                          This video literally got to the root of my problem perfectly. I have a bulge disc in my lower spine. It causes my hips to be so tight that it sends sharp pain down my leg. It’s been a battle I’ve been fighting for 3 years now. It’s hell. I wouldn’t wish this pain on my worst enemy.

                                                                          • nozrati
                                                                            nozrati  4 weeks back

                                                                            @Austin Hudson thank you sir! likewise, hope you find some relief

                                                                          • Austin Hudson
                                                                            Austin Hudson  1 months back

                                                                            Exact same you’re not alone brother keep up the fight for real

                                                                        • MegaMusical10
                                                                          MegaMusical10  1 months back

                                                                          Fantastic!! I kept telling the dr. that I hurt way down deep & it felt like my hip wouldn't rotate. Can't wait to try this, thanks!

                                                                          • Rebekah Byrd
                                                                            Rebekah Byrd  1 months back

                                                                            What are the best stretches for your neck and shoulders. Pinched nerve in your neck.

                                                                            • Cedric Aubry
                                                                              Cedric Aubry  1 months back

                                                                              Any tips for fixing FAI? Maybe a video on that?😊

                                                                              • Trinity Shea
                                                                                Trinity Shea  2 months back

                                                                                Hope you get a chance to read this. I’m commenting through my daughters channel. Just FYI.
                                                                                I am an active 31 year old male.
                                                                                Construction for over 10!years
                                                                                And been lifting weights for a long time. But unfortunately sometimes lifting is forced to take a break bc
                                                                                Of terrible pain in my right hip
                                                                                It occasionally goes away. But does come back.
                                                                                It feels like it’s in the front pelvic area. Some times the pain is so bad that when I’m sitting and in a relaxed state my hip feels like pins and needles and the pain runs down my leg.
                                                                                When I do these internal and external rotations I for the most part succeed in getting mostly full rotation with a little help but the pain is there.
                                                                                I notice that when I do flutter kicks and or leg raises my hip pops.
                                                                                Something to mention. Is that I’ve always had lower back pain.
                                                                                And you can see my lower spine pull in words. So I always thought that I had a tight muscle from my hip pulling on it.
                                                                                Our Company policy is to always perform a stretch and flex bc work.
                                                                                And last week when stretching my hip I not only felt a pop but my coworkers near me herd it to.
                                                                                I instantly had relief and was able to rotate and completely squats with no pain.
                                                                                It as my day went on the pain slowly returned.
                                                                                if there is any rhyme to this reason help is truly appreciated. I’ve been enduringthis pain for years. And have watched your vids over and over every time the pain returns.
                                                                                I believe in your expertises.
                                                                                honestly have came to your videos before for my doctor (which is no help)
                                                                                This is my first time writing you.
                                                                                And hope there is some advice you can give me.
                                                                                Sam Adamo.

                                                                                • JJ MUSGROVE
                                                                                  JJ MUSGROVE  2 months back

                                                                                  I would like to see exercises and stretches that address aching rhomboids and scapula area - between and just beneath.

                                                                                  • Sony Droid
                                                                                    Sony Droid  2 months back

                                                                                    Jeff, thank you for all these awesome videos. You are the best, period!

                                                                                    • Sony Droid
                                                                                      Sony Droid  2 months back

                                                                                      Oh no, my bad, that's Raymond

                                                                                      • Sony Droid
                                                                                        Sony Droid  2 months back

                                                                                        Hey JC, Jesse lost all his gains lol!!!

                                                                                        • shelby sloan
                                                                                          shelby sloan  2 months back

                                                                                          So I have an athlete, who is actually super flexible, but has really tight hips... so I was thinking she has very little stability? She's 17, a rugby player, but has tight hips. I was thinking of helping build up her glute muscles/hamstrings and getting her started on stability exercises, because she is so hyper flexible? Any ideas...

                                                                                          • RockMeBabyBand
                                                                                            RockMeBabyBand  2 months back

                                                                                            Shouldn’t you know what to do?

                                                                                          • metamaeta
                                                                                            metamaeta  2 months back

                                                                                            I'd love to watch a video on this also! Hypermobility is not a good thing :(