When hip joints are tight, it’s because there is muscle tension in the system. It could be because the muscles that attach into the joints are tight, but it could equally be tight muscles somewhere else that manifests as pain in the hip joint.
These muscles need to be retrained, slowly and intelligently (not forcefully, as if working out at the gym) so they move more efficiently and effortlessly.
This is why a Somatic Movement practice incorporates many different movements (not just ones directly targeting the hip) so we can release tension in the whole body.
Once the muscles of the waist, back and abdominals are back under the brain’s conscious control and can contract, lengthen and relax voluntarily, then a routine of functional strengthening can be very beneficial.
When we do Somatic Movements, instead of stretching the muscles you will reset their length and relax their tonus by pandiculating – contracting the muscle first, then slowly lengthening it to a full relaxation (as if you were imitating a cat or dog getting up from rest). Pandiculation is the key to resetting muscle length and restoring sensory awareness and motor control without forceful or painful stretching.