In this video, I wanted to show you four exercises that target your hip flexors to decrease their pain, loosen them up, and stretch them out.
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
#1- Hip Flexor Massage
Hip Flexor Massage
The first exercise involves foam rolling. It would help if you had a full-sized foam roller. Start just above your hip and roll down to just above your knee and then come back up to your hip. We are focusing on the superficial hip flexor called the rectus femoris. We are loosening up that muscle by doing this hip flexor massage.
Start with five repetitions, going up and down. See how it feels on one side and progress to 10 repetitions.
#2 – A Tennis Ball into the Hip Flexor
Place a tennis ball on your hip and move up and down, side to side, and in circles. This great hip flexor exercise releases the hip flexors and the rectus femoris muscle in that hip flexor area to decrease the stress, tension, and pain in the hip and your hip flexor.
A Tennis Ball into the Hip Flexor
We ended up doing things in a specific order with the foam roller. First, we worked on the whole muscle to massage that hip flexor. With this second exercise, we targeted releasing that hip flexor and loosening up that hip flexor to help with hip flexor pain.
Perform five repetitions of this exercise on one side and then get up and see how those hip flexors feel. If they feel better, then go through the other side. You can also progress to 10 repetitions.
#3 – Press Up
Lie on your stomach with your hands underneath your shoulders. Push up and arch through the back and then lower back down. With this exercise, you are working on the mobility in your back and stretching out the front of those hip flexors. Hold this position for two or three seconds, or even five seconds, and see how it feels. Go through two repetitions and then get up. See if the area has loosened up. See if you can squat better and then progress the length that you hold the position to 10 or 20 seconds.
When doing the press-up movement, ensure that your hips are coming off the mat to ensure you have a good hip flexor stretch. With this exercise, we are targeting the rectus femoris muscle.
#4 – 90-90 Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel on one knee, with your front leg at a 90-degree angle. Tighten your abdominal area, bring one arm straight up overhead, and then bring your hips forward. With this exercise, we specifically target more of the deeper hip flexor muscle, the iliacus.
90-90 Hip Flexor Stretch
We can do the second exercise in this position that targets the psoas. Once again, move into the 90-90 position with your arms and hips forward. Now add a little bit of a side bend. You should feel the stretch moving deeper into your spine area.
90-90 Hip Flexor Stretch with Side Bend
Look for a light stretch. Make sure you do not overdo it.
Go with two repetitions on each side, holding for about 20 seconds.
There you go. Those are the four exercises to do to help you with hip flexor pain and hip flexor tightness. Make sure to do them in the order I listed them off and in the reps and sets I recommended. You can do these exercises every day. You need to balance how many sets and reps you do. Like I said, with the foam rolling one, you want to look at 5 to 10 repetitions, NOT 50 repetitions.
Rick Kaselj, MS
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