The Best 7 Hip Flexor Exercises & Stretch Move
Tightness in your hips, or pain in the lower back, could indicate tension in your hips. You use your hip flexor muscles every day for everything from a simple walk to intense workouts at the gym.
Hip flexors include the iliac and psoas major muscle groups (also known as the iliopsoas) and the rectus femoris, part of your quadriceps. These muscles allow you to lift your leg, squat, walk, and a variety of other movements.
Spending too much time sitting can cause tight hips. It can also happen in serious gym-goers and professional athletes. You are at risk of injury if you don’t strengthen your hip flexors and stretch them.
Continue reading to find out how you can relax and strengthen these muscles.
The Best 7 Hip Flexor Stretch Moves
These seven stretches will make you feel better and help to relieve any hip flexor strain.
#1 Butterfly Stretch
The seated butterfly stretch, which is familiar to all, is great. This stretch loosens the hip flexors, inner thighs, and groin.
Start by laying on your back with your feet together. Keep your back straight and your chest up. Place your hands on the top of your feet. Slowly lean forward towards your hips. You can also push your elbows towards your thighs if you’re more flexible. For 2-5 sets, hold the stretch for 30-45 secs at a time.
#2 Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
This stretch requires a little more balance and is slightly more difficult. This great hip flexor will lengthen your psoas, iliacus (also known as the iliopsoas), and muscles.
Start the stretch by kneeling down on the ground. Next, move your right leg forward so that the right side of your body is parallel to the ground and your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Your left knee should be on the ground, with your left hip aligned under it. Next, put your hands on your hips. Then slowly move your hips forward so that you feel a stretch. You can hold this position for between 20-30 seconds. Then, switch to the other leg. This process can be repeated 2-4 times.
#3 Standing Quad Stretch
This is one of the most common and effective stretches. However, it is also one the most inefficient. Many people fail to stretch the quadriceps muscles properly or overarch their backs.
This is best done by standing on one leg. To help with balance, you can stand next to a wall. Next, grasp your right foot with your right hand and pull it towards your butt. To stretch your hip flexors, flex your toes by pointing and flexing your toe. Keep this position for 30 seconds, then switch sides. This should be repeated 2-3 times.
#4 Hip Flexor Bed Stretch
This stretch is often overlooked and can be very effective in stretching your hips and indicating if your hips are tight.
Begin by lying flat on your back on a mattress. Place your back so that you are facing the bed. Let the bed relax by letting one leg fall off. Once it touches the ground or is fully stretched, lift it up. For 3 sets, repeat this process 6-8 times per side.
#5 Glute Bridge
Tight hip flexors can hinder your ability to activate and strengthen your glutes. When done correctly, this stretch will help loosen hip strain and strengthen your hips.
This stretch requires you to lie on your back, with your knees bent and your head down on the ground. Your feet should be flat on the ground with your arms extended at your sides. Slowly lift your hips up off the ground so that your hips are in line with your shoulders and knees. Don’t overextend, as this could put pressure on your lower back. Slowly come down and hold for a few seconds. Repeat 10-15 times, then do 3-5 sets.
#6 Figure Four Stretch
This stretch will help you keep your hips mobile and healthy. This stretch can be done after a workout or during the day. You will be grateful!
Begin by lying on your back, with your knees bent. Next, place your feet on the ground. Cross your right leg over your left ankle and pull your left knee towards your chest. Grab your left knee and pull it towards your chest to deepen the stretch. For at least 30 seconds, hold the position and then let go. While doing this, make sure to breathe. Repeat on your left side. This should be repeated at least three times.
#7 Pigeon Stretch
The pigeon stretch, also known as pigeon pose, is a great yoga pose for stretching your hips. This pose can improve flexibility in your hip flexors and lower back and keep you mobile.
Begin by laying down. Next, bring your right knee to your right hip. Your left leg should be straightened. Deepen your breath. If possible, shift your weight to the front. If you’re flexible enough, take your right ankle and place your left leg in front of your left hip rather than keeping your ankle in place. Switch sides after holding this position for about 10-15 seconds.
The Best Hip Flexors Exercises
These stretches are great for post-workout. However, strengthening your hip flexors is also important. These are some exercises that can help you get started.
- Skater Squats
- Single-Leg Bridges
- High knees
- Standing Knee Drive
Your hip flexors, one of the most vital muscles in your body, are important. They protect your spine and stabilize the pelvis. They can be strengthened, and stretches should be done regularly.