30 Sep Tight Hip Flexors Part 1
The hip flexors are the group of muscles that cross the front of your hip and attach into your lower spine.
Having ‘tight’ hip flexors can cause you to feel stiff or sore in the hips but can also contribute to lower back pain. The main cause of the hip flexors feeling tight can be from the muscles being in a shortened position from a lot of sitting or other positions where your hips are flexed (bent) such as cycling.
Hip flexors may also feel tight because they are weak, or the muscles around them (glutes, core or pelvic floor) are weak, which may cause your hip flexors to be over active and feel tight.
The best thing to do will be to see a physio for an assessment as to what might be contributing to your feeling of tight hip flexors.
If you feel you have tight hip flexors, these are 3 stretch options that you can start with (choose the one you are most comfortable with or that you feel is most effective for you). In each example I am stretching my right hip flexors. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-3x each side.
- Kneeling on your right knee with your left foot forward, tuck your tailbone under then gently lean forward. Relax, breath deeply and gently push further into the stretch as able
- For those who prefer not to kneel, having your foot/shin resting on a chair is another option. I recommend holding on to something to help your balance (I am just using a roller for convenience!). Make sure you tuck your tailbone under, then lean forward similar to option
- Laying with a roller under your pelvis is another option. Place it just between your lower back and tailbone, then hug your left knee into your chest and let the right hip relax over the roller (keeping your tailbone tucked). Raise your right arm overhead and relax into the stretch.
In each example you should feel the stretch in the front of your hip and sometimes into your thigh. If you are feeling a lot of pressure in your lower back, reset and ensure you have tucked your tailbone (tilted your pelvis) and try again. If that doesn’t help, be sure to see a physio for more tailored advice. Next I will share my tips on how to strengthen your hip flexors & surrounding muscles which may just be your missing link, click here.