I foam roll, and stretch my hips. My hips are very tight and I suspect it has to do with me sitting in an office job all day long. So I try to stretch them every other hour at work or home for a couple of minutes.
In the old days (pre SS) I would stretch for half an hour after every workout, I don't do this anymore and everything has been fine. I stretch per need, like when I had tight wrists and wanted to learn power clean, if there is no need then I wont stretch.
I agree with william morris. In 13 years of doing massage work- almost without exception- the people with chronic hip pain, shoulder pain, etc seemed to have an issue with being de conditioned which they erroneously interpreted as being "tight" or "holding tension" their solution typically was a lot of stretching, or more commonly, applying guilty thought to the area for not stretching enough.
I suffered sciatica and lots of low back hip issues due to carrying asymmetrical weight at work- squatting below parallel cured it completely, I have no low back issues whatsoever, flexibility from the hamstring stretch in the bottom position is as good as it ever was when I did yoga, active stretching and voodoo.
I do like to do a bit of dynamic stretching before trail runs. and quad/adductor stretches are sometimes helpful due to an earlier groin pull- but not often.
I also dont believe stretching alleviates pain (for me)
I've noticed in my 12 years of coaching/strength training that:
1) that untrained people who have chronic pain, need to get strong, and magically their pain goes away.
2) that skinny limber people stretch way too much and just need to get strong.
3) that really huge 280-350lb, really strong guys are the ones who really need to stretch a bit, but are the ones who rarely do.
<---This equals something called adaptive shortening of the hip flexors, which you are doing exactly what needs to be done to keep it from becoming permanent (something called a contracture). Take the muscle group through a full range of motion at regular intervals throughout the day, and train regularly and this will not become permanent.
Originally Posted by Valhall
My thoughts and experience I've had so far in my short history as a coach:
If a tissue is inflamed, it is not a good idea to stretch it. As this will cause it to become more inflamed.
If a tissue is "short" and/or "stiff", disrupting the optimal length/tissue relationship with that muscle or it's synergist/reciprocal; stretching can be useful.
Many times when people claim to be too tight to do a movement, the supporting musculature that creates that movement is weak or inhibited. For example a mother/daughter pair of clients have a very tough time getting full depth with proper alignment in the squat. They both claim their groin (adductors) is too tight and preventing them to get depth...
Through some different tests, and watching them do different movements, it appears that their glute medi are weak and does not perform hip external rotation/abduction properly. A little stretching and coaching on how to use the glutes to abduct the hips while keeping their balance of mid-back foot generally fixes the movement.
I've been suffering with miserable low back/hip pain for years and the following routine from Convict Conditioning 2 pretty much cured me.
1. Bridge hold 10-15 sec
2. L-sit hold 10-15 sec
3. Twist hold 20 sec each direction
I try to do it once in the morning and once before I go to bed. Takes just a few minutes.
This has everything to do with sitting on my ass all day at work and trying to undo the damage that causes. I maintain the flexibility I need for the barbell lifts by doing the lifts.
I tend to find that my ability to perform the lifts through full ROM diminishes fairly quickly without at least some light stretching. From what I've seen this is quite common amongst people who are desk-bound.