Tonight I am coming to you from my holidays. I am on holiday here in the Victoria area of British Columbia.
My wife just put the kids to sleep and I just headed outside to a local park to do this quick video. What I wanted to chat about was a Tweak to the Common Hip Flexor Stretch.
A common stretch that people end up doing and how I end up tweaking it to get more out of that stretch is called the 90/90 Hip Flexor Stretch.
It is when you kneel and the back leg, ankle, knee, and hip are at 90 degrees, and the front leg, ankle, knee, and hip are at 90 as well.
From the side, you see it as 90/90 and then from the front what I want to make sure is that I have the knee in line with the hip. With the front leg and the back leg and the knee in line with the hip.
That ends up being the starting position that I want and what I will do is brace the abdominal area to prevent any change in the curvature of my low back.
The curvature in my low back stays the same. It locks down my pelvis and it allows me to get better stretch specifically through the rectus femoris or the most superficial quadriceps muscle. Starting with bracing through my stomach, then contracting my glute, and then bringing my hips forward and I am looking at getting that stretch in the rectus femoris.
What oftentimes will end up happening is people will not look at that back leg and how much that back leg is rotated in and rotated out. A lot of people when they do this exercise will end up having that heel inwards and their thigh is externally rotated and when they do the stretch they really won’t feel much from the stretch.
What I will get them to do is to internally rotate or to bring that heel out and then go into the stretch and they will end up feeling a greater intensity in that stretch and the stretch ends up moving more to that outer side of the lateral side so hitting more vastus lateralis, iliotibial band, and tensor fasciae late.
Give that a go the next time you do a 90/90 hip flexor stretch. A lot of times you just end up moving into that easy position that normal position and then going into the stretch.
One other tweak you can do is bring that heel out during the stretch or even sometimes bring that heel in when doing that stretch because sometimes that will move the stretch more into the vast medialis and that adductor muscles.
I will show it to you from behind. So looking at the foot straight back, if I end up bringing that heel in and going into that stretch, I end up having more rectus femoris and adductor and vastus medialis.
And if I bring that heel out, I end up having more of that vast lateralis, rectus femoris, IT band, and tensor fasciae late.
Next time you end up doing that 90/90 hip flexor stretch thinks about tweaking it when it comes to bringing that heel in and bringing that heel out to target different areas in that hip that could end up being tight when it comes to your hip flexors.
If you are looking for a program to help you with your tight hip flexors, you can take a look at the program that I called Fixing Tight Hip Flexors.
Take care and bye-bye.
Rick Kaselj, MS.