10 Stretches and Strength Moves for Tight Hip Flexors
If you have noticed that you have tight hip flexors, incorporate these 4 stretches and 5 strength moves to keep yourself injury free. If you are an avid runner, you need these moves in your life!
Last week on IG live, I talked through a few moves you should incorporate into your workout routine if you suffer with tight and /or weak hip flexors. Tight hip flexors is usually a warning that there is weakness.
What causes tight hip flexors?
Typically it's from sitting for most of the day, which is something almost all of us are guilty of if you have a desk job. When you are sitting all day, the hip flexors are in a shortened and relaxed position. Causing them to relax in a shortened position and get weaker and shorter over time. Try to set a timer and get up from your desk every hour. Even if it's a 5-10 minute walk around the house or doing a few of the stretches and/or strength moves I notate below, it will help activate your hip flexors and strengthen them over time. There are also tons of options for stand up desks, so I recommend standing for an hour a day to work (with good posture). You can work your way up to a few hours a day over time. This will lengthen and activate your hip flexors in contrast to them being relaxed and shortened most of the day.
It is also common for runners, due to repetition of the stride movement and is ultimately the cause of weak glutes. So for runners, it's especially important to recruit your glutes and build strength in that department, rather than focusing on stretches alone.
How do you know if you have tight hip flexors?
Given that our body is a kinetic chain and works as a system, when one muscle group is weak or tight it usually causes a different muscle group to overcompensate for the weakness or tightness. Some examples of what you may be experiencing due to, include:
- Tightness or an ache in your lower back, especially when standing
- Poor posture and difficulty standing up straight
- Neck tightness or pain
- Pain in the glutes
What stretches can I do to help?
- Butterfly (traditional gym class style)
- Pigeon pose
- figure four if your at your desk
- Bridge holds-30 seconds at the top
- Hip flexor warrior pose
What Strength moves can I incorporate into my workout routine?
- Lunges (Bulgarian split, lunge jumps traditional weighted lunges)
- Sliding mountain climbers (with a towel or socks on a slick surface, the sliding motion will engage your hip flexors move than a traditional mountain climber)
- Squat lateral leg raises (add band around your ankles for more resistance)
- Lying leg raises
- Banded hip marches (lying down or standing) or knee drive holds (if you don't have a band)
Now that you’re armed with these stretching and strengthening moves, adding them into your regular workout routine is key. The stronger your hip flexors are, the better chances you have of keeping yourself injury-free, especially if you are a runner! Add some blocks to your calendar to remind yourself to get up and move!