Hip flexibility is important. Hip flexibility exercises will help balance the tension in the hips, and prevent strength training from resulting in spasms or soreness. Muscle relaxation increases muscle tone, as tense muscles cannot function with the same strength as relaxed, stretched muscles.
A stretching routine that includes the whole body is the best, starting with the neck muscles and working down. For chronic muscle pain in any area, a full body approach to stretching exercises will serve you best.
To become more flexible at the front of the hip you will stretch:
***the quadriceps muscles at the front of the thighs
***the psoas muscle that runs from the top of the front of the thigh over the hip bone and up into the front of your spine.
To become more flexible at the side and back of the hips you will stretch:
***the ballet turnout muscles. Your lateral rotator muscles are your prime turnout muscles, specifically: Piriformis;Obturator Internus;Obturator Externus;Quadratus Femoris; Gemellus Superior; Gemellus Inferior. These muscles lie underneath your gluts, or "butt muscles' which can retain much tension from weakness and overuse.
If you are not particularly athletic, the sooner you learn about hip stretches the better. As you age, you can preserve hip strength and balance, preventing falls and hip fractures.
Get your DVD that includes the details of hip flexibility exercises, all the important body stretches, as well as myofascial release instruction, Flexibility Workout For Athletes.