Hip flexors are a group of muscles at the top of your thigh that connect your leg and trunk together. They are crucial in allowing you to be able to bring your knee up towards your torso as well as being able to bend over at the hip. Just like any muscle the hip flexor is prone to being strained or overused which is why it is important to stretch it regularly. Unlike some other muscles your hip flexor muscles are used in all types of daily activity from walking to just putting on your shoes.
Symptoms of Tight Hip Flexors
You may be wondering how you can tell if you are experiencing hip flexor tightness. While more obvious signs may be hip flexor pain while walking. The easiest way to see if you may be experiencing tight hip flexor is by understanding the common symptoms. These include:
- Tightness or an ache in your lower back, especially when standing.
- Poor posture and difficulty standing up straight.
- Neck tightness and pain.
- Pain in the glutes.
Hip Flexor Stretches
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, hip flexor stretches can help you both loosen your hip flexors to get rid of current pain, and prevent future injury. The two main stretches that are beneficial in loosening your hip flexors include prone press ups and a lunge stretch.
1. Prone Press ups
To do a prone press up you first need to lie prone on your stomach, take a deep breath, then begin to slowly press your upper body up by your forearms. Knowing how far you should go up should be determined when you start to feel straining or pain. This should be a pain free movement, hold this position for 30 seconds then return to the original prone position. Repeat this stretch 3 more times.
2. Lunge Stretch
For the lunge stretch get in your standard lunge with your hands on your knee and while keeping your back straight slowly start to drive your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your hip. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then repeat it 3 times. If you don’t quit feel this stretch try reaching your hands overhead while performing the lunge.
Still experiencing hip or back pain after trying these stretches? Schedule a free consultation at The Center for Total Back Care to have a hip flexor tightness test done to see if hip flexors or another underlying issue may be the cause.