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, you likely have hip flexors that are very tight and could use some stretching. In fact, stretching the hip flexors could be the key to ending the pain in hip joint. Whether you are somebody looking to maximize your hip mobility or simply get moving more, the video above, in addition to the descriptions below, will give you a few simple recommendations to help you get the most out of stretching your hip flexors.
Before You Begin
Before you begin, there are a couple pieces of equipment you might use during the exercise demonstrations. In the video above, and descriptions below, we reference using both a weight bench and yoga mat for a few of the exercises. These aren’t necessary, but are a great option that you can use to help improve the quality of stretching your hip flexors. These will be linked below. Any time you bring your knee up towards your chest, or create a bend in your hip, you are flexing the hip. When we sit a lot, these muscles can get tight. Because of this, we want to practice extending the hip to improve range of motion and hopefully decrease pain in hip joint. All of these exercises you should try to do without pain. If there is any pain, stop the movement. In addition, I would recommend holding any of the stretches from about 30 seconds to a minute. All of these are single leg exercises, which means that you should do them on both legs to make sure your body gets equal work. Lastly, there are quite a few exercises to choose from, as you will see. Although you will get benefit from doing one or even two, doing ALL of them will give you the best results.
Stretches for the Hip Flexors
The first one isn’t directly a stretch, but is a great place to start. For this one, hold onto your weight bench or wall, and do some light kicks back and forth. This is putting your hip through a very small range of motion, which will lightly stretch the hip flexors, and warm everything up. This is a great movement to start as a beginner.
For the quad stretch, you will stand on one foot, and grab the other foot, behind your body. Next, gently pull up on the foot, bringing it closer to your butt. You will try to remain standing up tall, not bending over. If you do this right, you will feel a light stretch on the upper part of your thigh, close to your hip joint.
After doing those first two, you are able to level up the intensity a bit. The next two exercises will be on the ground, and use a yoga mat to rest your legs on. Stretching the hip flexors with this pose, involves you bringing one knee at a ninety degree angle in front of your, and the other knee down behind you. Consult the video above if you are confused. Next, you will lightly push your front knee forward until you feel a gentle stretch on the top of your thigh. The more you bring your front knee forward, the better.
This is probably one of the most intense stretches in the video above. For this one, place one knee in front of you, in a ninety degree angle. Next, place the other foot either up on the bench behind you, or against a wall. You will then keep your body straight up and down, will sitting back into your foot. This position is very demanding, so only go as far as you comfortably can.
ATG Split Squat
The ATG split squat is one of the best ways to help stretching the hip flexors, in addition to decrease pain in hip joint. For this one, you are going to start with one foot up on the adjustable bench. Next, you will place your other foot way behind you. After that, you will push the front knee forward adding a little bit of load into your knee, as well as a stretch on the back hip. You can either hold this position, or do it for multiple repetitions.
Of course these are just a few of many great ways to work on stretching the hip flexors, to help reduce pain in hip joint. For the best results, practice these daily, and always work without pain. For a link to an excellent low impact strength program we have designed for individuals who are beginners or have limited mobility, we will link them below. We will also provide links to the yoga mat and adjustable weight bench referenced in the video and descriptions as well!
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