Your hip flexors play a major role in your everyday life. They are responsible for bringing your knee and hips forward so you can walk and run.
Sometimes the hip flexor muscles can become tight and cause a lot of pain when you try to move around. The most common cause of tight hip flexors is due to sitting for long periods of time each day without stretching.
This is why people with desk jobs are much more likely to experience tight hip flexors compared to an athlete or someone who is more physically active. However, athletes and people who are physically active are not excluded from experiencing hip flexor pain and tightness.
Another common cause can be attributed to injury due to overusing or overworking the hip flexor muscles. For this reason athletes have to be-careful and mindful in order to avoid straining or injuring their hip flexors.
How to Check if You Have Tight Hip Flexors
According to Hip Flexors Info, The best way to check if your hip flexors are too tight is to perform The Thomas Test. If done correctly this test will allow you to determine exactly which hip flexor muscles are tight and causing you problems. To do the Thomas Test you’ll need to follow the steps below:
First start off on your back by laying down flat on your bed or a workout bench.
Next, while laying flat on your back you will need to raise your right knee up towards your chest area. Bring your right knee as far as it will allow you to go up to your chest.
Finally, hold this position using your hands while making sure your back remains flat against whatever you’re laying down on.
You have tight hip flexors if you are unable to keep your lower back flat against the bed or workout bench as you hold your right knee up to your chest. If your lower back remains flat against the surface while holding your knee up to your chest you don’t have tight hip flexors and the pain you’re experiencing is coming from somewhere else.
3 of The Best Stretches for Tight Hip Flexors
Luckily if you have tight hip flexors there are a number of stretches you can perform to get rid of the pain in the front of your hips and return to your normal activities.
A few of the best hip flexor stretches include:
Lunges are definitely one of the best stretches for hip flexors because they work every muscle in this area and other areas that may be affected like your groin and lower back. To do lunges that will help strengthen and loosen up your hip flexors follow the steps below:
- First, you’re going to want to get into a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart. You also want to make sure your back and head are upright.
- Now take a step forward with your right leg while keeping your left foot behind you. As you take the step forward with your right leg make sure you bend the knee to a 90 degree angle.
- Once you have your right knee in a 90 degree angle begin lowering your upper body until your hips are parallel to the ground.
- Hold this position for about 30 seconds and then repeat steps 1 to 3 with your left leg.
There are different variations of the lunge that can help you get relief from tight hip flexors. You can click here to learn more about using lunges to strengthen your hip flexor muscles.
This is one of the best yoga stretches for tight hip flexors. Doing this yoga pose regularly each day will help loosen up your hip flexors by improving mobility in the area.
To do the pigeon stretch follow the steps below:
- First, get on your hands and knees on the floor.
- Now take your left knee and bring it in front of you. Your left knee should be positioned right behind your left wrist.
- Next you’re going to want to lengthen your right leg behind you by keeping your right knee and toes as straight as possible.
- While engaging your hips you’re going to want to lower your body down to the floor.
- Hold this stretched position for at least 15 seconds before releasing and returning to the starting position.
- Now repeat this stretch with your right knee in front and your left leg straight out behind you.
Doing this yoga stretch on a daily basis is one of the best ways to unlock tight hip flexors and reduce painful symptoms. Don’t forget to take deep breaths as you perform this stretch.
The butterfly stretch is definitely one of the better stretches for tight hip flexors. Doing this stretch regularly each day will help lengthen and loosen up the major muscles in your hip flexors.
To do the butterfly stretch properly do the following:
- Start off in a sitting position with your legs situated in front of you.
- Now bring the soles of both your feet together until they’re touching one another. Both of your knees should be pointing outward to your sides.
- Now while sitting down on the floor with your back and head upright and straight, begin leaning forward while pushing down on your thighs with your arms. As you lean forward make sure your back stays as straight as possible.
- Finally, hold this stretched position for at least 30 seconds before releasing and returning to the starting position.
This is a very simple stretch to do, but it’s very effective at increasing mobility in the hip flexor and reducing pain.
These are 3 of the best stretches to loosen up your hip flexor muscles and keep them healthy. Start doing these stretches each day and watch how much more mobility and strength you have in your hips.