5 Killer Stretches For Tight Hip Flexors
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Your hip flexor is the muscle that runs from your hip bone to your knee cap and activates when you flex your hip in doing something like lifting your knee. Activities like running, practicing yoga, and even sitting at your desk can contribute to chronically tight hip flexors if you're not taking care of them properly.
The best things you can do for tight flexors are not only to stretch and lengthen them, but also to strengthen them and the surrounding muscles so that you're not overcompensating.
Here, we'll be exploring how to know when you have tight flexors, how to treat them, and what stretches you can do to find some relief.
How Do You Know If Your Hip Flexors Are Tight?
There a few tell-tale signs that your hip flexors are tight and they're not always obvious. The following symptoms are indicative of tight flexors.
- Lower back pain
- Your pelvis tilts to compensate
- Sore and tight hips
It's important to consult with a physiotherapist to determine whether your hip flexors are tight or weak. In some cases, painful hip flexors indicate weakness rather than tightness. A physiotherapist will be able to assess the difference and work with your body accordingly.
How Do You Treat a Sore Hip Flexor?
When treating a sore hip flexor, most often you'll want to rest for a day or two. You may even need to ice the area if some damage has been done, but for the most part, a few days away from the gym or intense physical activity will be beneficial.
Then you'll really want to work on stretching and strengthening in the appropriate areas. A skilled physiotherapist will be able to help you target the muscles that are craving expansion while strengthening the muscles that are there to support your hip flexors.
Additionally, if you work from a desk or find yourself sitting for long periods of time, it's imperative to get up and move your body every so often. This releases the tension and avoids pressure build-up that can lead to sore hips.
Stretches for Tight Hip Flexors
As always, make sure to warm up your body before performing any of these hip flexor stretches. Also, if you're unsure about proper alignment and technique, make sure you consult with a certified physiotherapist.
Here are five killer stretches that will target the hip flexors.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
- Kneel with the support knee underneath the hip and the extended foot place flat on the floor at a 90-degree angle with the knee above the ankle.
- Squeeze your glutes to activate a posterior tilt in the hips.
- Activate your lower abdominals to further the stretch in the hip flexor and front of the leg.
- For an even deeper stretch, lean slightly forward while maintaining a tight core and posterior tilt in the hips.
Psoas Quad Stretch
- With a workout bench behind you, place the top of one foot onto the bench.
- Bend your standing leg to come into kneeling with the flat foot placed directly below the knee.
- Activate a posterior tilt in your hips and breathe as you hold this position and feel a deep stretch in the hip flexor and front of the quadriceps.
Low Lunge with Side Extend
- Get into a low lunge position with your right knee in front, knee in line with your ankle.
- Reach your left arm to the sky.
- Keeping your hips square, reach your left arm up and over to the right.
- Breathe while you stretch the left hip flexor.
- Carefully release and switch sides.
Reclined Figure Four
- Lie on your back with knees pulled in towards your chest.
- Cross one ankle over the opposite knee creating the shape of the number four.
- For a deeper stretch, reach your hands behind the supporting thigh and pull your ankle closer to your chest.
- Lie on your stomach with feet together and arms outstretched to your sides in a T-shape, palms down.
- Lift one leg toward the sky and rotate your hips, bending your leg across your body until your toes touch the floor on the opposite side.
- Gently return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
For a more customised approach to working on your tight hip flexors, book an appointment with one of our skilled physiotherapists. We have locations all across Australia and even offer mobile services that can come to your home or office. Call Physio Inq today!