In racewalking and fitness-walking, the hips are used more than in day-to-day walking. Stretching the hips properly will allow you a greater range of motion, a greater increase in stride, and a reduced risk of injury. If you suffer from lower-back pain, please speak with your physician or physical therapist before attempting this stretch.
On the Curb Stretch
This is simple but requires a step or high curb to stand on and something to balance against. A curb by a telephone pole or street sign works well.
Stand with one leg on the curb, and let the other leg hang off. Lower the hanging leg and keep both legs straight. (Don’t bend your knees.) You will feel the stretch in the hip that is on the step or curb, not in the dangling leg. Turn and repeat the stretch for the opposite hip.
Seated Hip Stretch
This stretch requires that you be on the ground, so you may want to save it for inside after a walk if the ground outside is wet, damp or dirty.
Seated on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you, bend your right leg and cross it over your left leg. Take your left elbow and press it against the outside of your right leg, pulling your right leg toward your body. (You can use your hand if you can’t reach with your elbow.) You should feel a stretch in your hip. Reverse your legs to stretch the other hip.