The hip flexors play a pivotal role in our lower body’s movement. However, they can be tense, imbalanced, or inflamed due to several causes. If you have noticed you have tight hip flexors during your daily life, keep scrolling for a few hip flexor stretches and exercises that can help strengthen vital muscles and reduce pain, as well as additional information on hip flexor-related pain!
Three Simple Hip Flexor Stretches & Exercises
*Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling, or reproduction of your symptoms, stop this exercise and please contact your doctor.
1. Tensor Fascia Lata (TFL) Release with Foam Roller
- For this exercise, you will need a foam roller.
- Place your body weight onto the foam roller by lying flat on it right below your hip bones, then lean to one side by lifting your hip up.
- Stay right below the hip bone, making sure you do not roll on bony areas.
- Roll about four to six inches looking for areas of pain or tenderness; rotate left and right when you find a location of pain and hold that position until that pain lessens some.
- If you have any discomfort, lessen the pressure or move away from that spot.
- Roll on both sides for 30-90 seconds a day.
2. Standing Hip Flexor Stretch
- Get into a split stance with your feet one to two feet apart.
- Slightly bend your front knee if you want to increase the stretch.
- Tuck your tailbone under your hips and squeeze your glutes.
- You will feel this stretch on the front of your thigh and hip.
- To increase the stretch again, lift your arm on the same side and reach up and behind your back.
- For best results, perform 30-90 seconds a day on both sides.
3. Figure Four Stretch
- For this stretch, lay on your back on the floor, with knees bent and feet flat on the floor hip-width apart.
- Lift one leg and cross it over the opposite knee.
- Grab behind the leg that is on the ground with your hands and pull it toward you until you feel a gentle stretch, keeping your low back on the ground.
- Maintain the position and relax.
- To increase the stretch, grab the back of your thigh and bring it closer to your chest.
- Repeat this movement on the other leg.
- You can also perform this sitting down, however, to increase the stretch, you will lean forward while your leg is crossed.
- Please complete for 30-60 seconds, on both sides.
What are Hip Flexors?
The hip flexors play a crucial role in our daily movements, especially activities like walking, running, and even sitting. Comprised of a group of muscles located in the pelvic region and upper thighs, the primary hip flexors include the iliopsoas (a combination of the psoas major and iliacus muscles) and the rectus femoris.
These muscles work together to flex the hip joint, allowing you to lift your knees towards your chest. Whether you’re climbing stairs or engaging in sports, strong and flexible hip flexors are essential for functionality and mobility.
What Causes Hip Flexor Pain?
Hip flexor pain can be a nagging issue that interferes with daily activities and physical performance. Several factors contribute to the development of hip flexor pain, and understanding these can be instrumental in both prevention and recovery.
- Muscle Strain: Overuse or sudden, intense movements can result in microscopic tears in the hip flexor muscles, leading to discomfort and inflammation.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Prolonged periods of sitting can contribute to tight and shortened hip flexors, causing stiffness and discomfort due to the lack of regular movement.
- Poor Posture: Incorrect sitting or standing posture may place stress on the hip flexors, leading to imbalances in muscle length and strength, and increasing the risk of pain or injury.
- Sports Injuries: Athletes engaging in activities with repetitive hip flexor movements, such as running or cycling, may be susceptible to injuries due to overtraining or improper techniques.
- Muscular Imbalances: A weak core puts extra strain on the hip flexors during various movements to help compensate for movements, which emphasizes the need to have a strong core.
Embrace a Future Free of Hip Flexor Pain!
Has your athletic performance or mobility suffered because of hip flexor-related pain? Well, the days of roughing out pain or sitting out are over!
Schedule an appointment with Airrosti to get started with our Providers today! At Airrosti, our Providers work to address the root cause of your pain, often resolving injuries or pain within an average of three visits (based on patient-reported outcomes). In addition, you will be given a personalized treatment plan and resources/tools to continue your recovery at home.
Airrosti offers both in-clinic and telehealth options. For more information, call us at (800) 404-6050.
Read our Medical Disclaimer here.