Don’t Stretch Your Hips!
You’ve got pain and tightness at the front of your hip. What is the first thing you do? Stretch it out! But what if you are completely wasting your time? This article will address a common error people do when stretching their hip flexors, how to make the stretch more effective, and will finish with a strategy never talked about to get that stretch to actually last.
Common Hip Stretching Error
One of the most common errors individuals make when stretching their hip flexors, is by keeping their knee straight, or just slightly bent when doing the stretch. This doesn’t allow the rectus femoris, one of the large hip flexor muscles, to get fully stretched. To fix this, we need to find a way to bend the knee while stretching our hip flexor. Here’s a few examples.
Hip Flexor Stretches
The first way we can demonstrate this is with a leg swing. Swing your leg forward and backward, but instead of keeping your knee straight, allow it to bend and touch your butt, when it comes backwards. You will feel this immediately more through your hip flexors.
Another way you can target this new stretch is with a quad stretch. Standing and holding on to something, grab your opposite foot with the opposite hand. Next, pull your foot up towards your butt while also pulling it back very slightly. Hold for 30 seconds on each leg. But that’s not all.
In addition to that, you can work this new stretch is with our bed stretch. Lie on your back, and let one leg dangle off the side of the bed. Next, you will bend the knee of that leg and slowly pull the foot backwards at the same time. Repeat on both legs for 30 seconds. Once you’ve mastered that, you can go on to my favorite stretch.
Enjoying the Stretches?
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Once you’ve gotten used to those first few, you can do the couch stretch. For this stretch, you will start on your knees, with a bench or couch behind you. Then, you will simply bring one of your feet up behind you onto the bench or couch. Slowly lean back into your foot, trying to keep your chest high. This stretch is very intense so only go as long as you can.
That’s Not All
Unless you want to be stretching your hip flexors every single day, we need to address another issue. Glute weakness. One of the most common issues that leads people to having tight hips is the glutes being under-active. One of the ways we can work our glutes, is with the glute bridge.
For the glute bridge, lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet about 2-3 feet from your butt. Next, you will push through your feet to bring your butt up towards the sky. Squeeze your butt at the top and make sure to not arch your lower back. If you want to make this more difficult, you can add a weight across your lap, increase the range of motion with a bench, or both as shown in the video above. (Products mentioned linked below.)
If you interested in following another program that can keep your hips, legs, and rest of your body fit, we created an excellent daily program below. Otherwise, feel free to check out this other article I made, detailing some more hip flexor stretches you can do.
Here’s the deal. Hip pain and tightness is something that is no joke. It can leave you limping, and wishing you never even got up from your seat. Unfortunately, staying seated and immobile can actually make it much worse. Whether you have been sitting for an extended period of time or simply are very inactive,…
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