Did you know that one of the main muscles used when lifting weights is your hip flexor muscle? Strong hip flexors can improve your strength and flexibility, as well as reduce your risk of injury.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss some exercises you can do to strengthen and stretch your hip flexors.
The hip flexors are a group of muscles that attach your thigh bone to your pelvis and lower spine. They’re responsible for bending your knee and bringing your leg toward your body.
Unfortunately, they can also become tight and shortened from sitting all day or from performing repetitive motions like running or cycling. When this happens, they can pull on the lower back and cause pain.
The best way to strengthen your hip flexor muscles and make them flexible is with exercises that target all the muscles in the group.
Let us look at some of the common symptoms of tight hip flexors.
Common Symptoms of Hip Flexor Strain
Often, the first sign that you have strained your hip flexor muscles is a sharp pain in the front of your hip called rectus femoris or in the groin. This pain is usually worse when you move your leg or bend your hip.
You might also feel pain when you sit for long periods with your knees bent, such as when you’re driving. Other common symptoms include:
- Swelling or bruising in the front of your hip or groin
- Tenderness when you touch the front of your hip
- Weakness in your leg or difficulty standing up from a sitting position
- A snapping or popping sensation in your hip
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a healthcare professional so they can diagnose the problem and recommend treatment. Treatment might include physical therapy and exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles around your hip.
Best Hip Flexors Exercise to Improve Strength
Strengthening hip flexors muscles can help improve your strength and mobility. There are many different exercises you can do to strengthen your tight hip muscles. Let us have a look at each one by one.
The benefits of lunges to strengthen hip flexors are improved balance and stability, increased range of motion, and stronger muscles.
How to Do:
- Start by standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart.
- Step forward with your right foot and slowly lower your body towards the floor. Be sure to keep your back straight and your front knee directly over your ankle.
- Hold for a few seconds, then push yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg.
- For an extra challenge, try doing this exercise using a DMoose resistance band.
The Romanian deadlift has a lot of benefits, including strengthening the muscles and preventing hip flexor injury. This exercise also helps to improve balance and coordination. You can use a dumbbell or a barbell to do this exercise.
How to Do It:
- Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart, holding a weight gripped with both hands.
- Bend at your hips and knees, lowering the weight toward the floor.
- Keep your back flat, and extend your hips and knees to stand back up.
Mountain climbers are a great way to strengthen your hip muscles and improve your performance in other exercises. Adding in core sliders by DMoose makes the exercise even more challenging, wiping off hip flexor strain.
They also have a host of other benefits, such as improving your cardiovascular health, burning calories, and strengthening your core.
How to Do It:
- Start in a high plank position with your hands directly below your shoulders and your core engaged.
- Slide your left leg forward so that your knee is just behind your hand, then quickly switch legs.
- Continue alternating legs as quickly as possible for 30-60 seconds.
- Rest for 30-60 seconds, then repeat.
Straight Leg Raise
Straight leg raises will help tone and strengthen the hip flexors, which are the muscles responsible for pulling the knee up toward the chest. They can also help to improve flexibility and range of motion in the hips.
How to Do It:
- To do this exercise, lie on your back with one knee bent and the other leg straight.
- Then, tighten your abdominal muscles and lift the leg up so that the thigh is in line with the opposite bent knee.
- Hold for a count of 2 seconds
- Slowly lower to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
Best Hip Flexors Exercises for Flexibility
The best hip flexors exercises for flexibility are those that stretch the hip flexors and groin muscles. These exercises can help improve range of motion and reduce the risk of injury.
The pigeon is a common yoga posture that helps you recover from hip flexor strain. Feel free to alter it by performing a figure four stretch.
- Begin in a plank position with your left foot on the floor and your right knee on the floor next to your left hand.
- Slide your left foot forward so your knee is on the ground near your left hand and your toe near your right hand.
- Slide your right leg back as far as you can while keeping your hips square. Lower yourself to the floor and onto your elbows, bringing your upper body down as far as possible.
- Hold the stretch without letting your chest fall. Once you feel like you’ve got a good stretch, switch sides.
This exercise is great for toning your glutes but can also help stretch out your hip flexors.
How to Do It:
- Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and knees bent, feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart.
- If you can reach them, try to position your feet so that your fingers touch your heels.
- Slide your right leg back as far as you can while keeping your hips square.
- Lower yourself to the floor and onto your elbows, bringing your upper body down as far as possible.
- Hold the stretch without letting your chest fall. Once you feel like you’ve got a good stretch, switch sides. Make sure to keep good form and not slouch!
Squat holds are a great way to stretch and strengthen your hip flexors.
How to Do It:
- To do a squat hold, simply stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then slowly stand back up. Repeat 2-3 times.
Hip flexors are a group of muscles located at the front of the hip. They allow the hip to move up and down and help with activities such as running and jumping. Hip flexor pain is a common problem, especially among runners. Hip flexor strain symptoms include tenderness and soreness in the area and difficulty moving the hip.
There are a number of exercises that can help strengthen the hip flexors. These include squats, lunges, and bridges. It is important to vary your workout routine to ensure that you are targeting all the muscles in the area. So give these exercises a try and get rid of your hip flexor strain and strengthen them right away!
- Afonso, José, et al. “Strength Training versus Stretching for Improving Range of Motion: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Healthcare, vol. 9, no. 4, Apr. 2021, p. 427. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040427.