Your hip flexors are the secret sauce for your body. Hip flexors are like tiny, powerful engines that keep your legs running in their prime. These muscles give you the ability to move around with unrivaled agility.
The health of these muscles is associated with walking and moving around. Unfortunately, when these muscle groups become weak, it can cause pain and make even walking a chore.
In this era, we can get most things done by sitting in one place. If you are also the one whose daily lifestyle involves more sitting than moving, you can bet that your hip flexors are tauter than a rubber band on the verge of snapping.
Fortunately, there is hope: physical therapy and exercises designed to strengthen this area of the body can help restore those hip-shakin' muscles into shape in no time!
Don't wait any longer; give yourself that spring back in your step today with targeted care for strengthening those mighty hips.
The Benefits of Strengthening Your Hip Flexors
Strengthening your hip flexors is the key! From rejuvenating posture and mobility to building a steady balance, strengthening your hip flexors can give you remarkable benefits.
Poor alignment can lead to many unfortunate problems like back pain; don't let them get you down. Imagine having improved posture and fewer aches and pains. Do you know you can improve your standing by fortifying those all-important hip-flexing muscles so that not even gravity has its say over how ramrod straight you stand?
Weak hip flexors are the culprit if you struggle to move your legs quickly. By strengthening and toning these muscles, you can increase your range of motion and bid farewell to pain or discomfort in other areas like the hips or knees.
Keep strong hip flexors from being your balance downfall. Strengthening them can give you greater confidence and control when engaging in activities that require coordination, such as running or playing sports. If you worry about a dangerous imbalance, you can build up your hip flexors for unimaginable stability.
A few simple exercises are all it takes for the body's connective tissue to experience a refreshing transformation. So go ahead, free yourself from any restrictions.
Best Tips for Strengthening Your Hip Flexors
These top-secret tips and tricks can help you get your flexors in tip-top shape. Whether you're looking for a leg up on fitness or just trying to stay limber, we've got the perfect routine to keep those muscles taut. Let’s reveal the secret ingredient on the basis of research:
- Regular stretching of the hip flexors is essential for keeping them strong and mobile. You can do a variety of stretches to target the hip flexors, such as the standing hip flexor stretch, the hip flexor lunge, and the kneeling hip flexor stretch.
- You can add exercises that target the hip flexors, such as hip flexor lifts, step-ups, and lateral lunges, into your regular workout routine.
- Your hip flexors are just one component of your hip region. Strengthening the muscles surrounding the hip flexors, such as the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps, is also essential for optimal hip health.
- Increasing your overall activity level can help strengthen your hip flexors. Walking, jogging, and cycling can help you build strength and mobility in the hip region.
- Ensure you warm up your body before any strenuous exercise. Warming up can help increase your blood flow to the muscles and improve flexibility.
- Cooling down is just as important as warming up. Cooling down helps to reduce the risk of injury and improve recovery.
- Poor posture can lead to tightness in the hip flexors. Make sure to keep your posture in check throughout the day and take breaks to stretch if you've been sitting for an extended period.
- Getting enough rest is essential for keeping your hip flexors strong and healthy. Make sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Top 5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Hip Flexors
Let's step up your fitness game, and it's time to target the muscle group that powers so many dynamic movements. Here are 5 exercises guaranteed to strengthen these often-neglected muscles and get you moving stronger.
1. Hip Bridge March
The hip bridge march is designed for you to strengthen and tone the glutes, hamstrings, and core. The good news is that irrespective of your workout routine or fitness level; you can perform it. It is for everybody.
By doing Hip Bridge March, you can strengthen and tone your glutes, hamstrings, and core while improving your balance and stability. All you need to do is to follow these steps:
- Start by lying down on your back with your feet on the floor. Place your hands at your side, palms facing the floor.
- Lift your hips off the floor, and keep your core engaged. Your body must be straight from your shoulders to your knees.
- From here, you can march your legs up and down, alternating each leg. To march, lift one leg towards your chest and lower it back down. At the same time, lift the other leg towards your chest and lower it back down.
- Continue with alternating legs in this manner. Increasing the speed or adding a resistance band around your knees can make it more challenging.
- As you march, keep your core engaged and your hips lifted off the floor. It will help activate your glutes and hamstrings and work your core.
2. Standing March
Standing marches are a great way to improve your lower body strength and muscular endurance. It can be done anywhere at any time and is a low-impact exercise that is easy on your joints.
The exercise can be done slowly to focus on your form or at a faster pace to increase your cardiovascular endurance. It is an excellent addition to any workout routine and can be done as a warm-up or cool-down. Let's see how to do it;
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Leave your arms at your sides and slightly bent.
- Starting with your left foot, slowly lift it off the ground, and bring your knee toward your chest.
- Meanwhile, your right foot is in place on the ground. Stay in this position for a few seconds, then lower your left foot to the ground and switch sides.
- Now is your right foot turn; lift it off the ground and bring your right knee toward your chest. Maintain this position for a few seconds and switch back to your left foot.
- Continue this alternating pattern, slowly lifting and lowering each foot while keeping your body upright.
- You can also increase the duration of the exercise as your endurance improves.
- As you become more comfortable with the exercise, you can increase the pace of your foot movement.
3. Half-Kneeling Lift-Off
Half-Kneeling Lift-Off is an exercise that strengthens the core and improves your hip mobility. It is a great way to prepare for other exercises, such as squats and lunges, and can be added to weights too.
Maintaining good posture and form throughout the exercise is essential, so your muscles are adequately engaged and strengthened. Here are simple steps that can help you:
- Start by getting into a half-kneeling position by moving one leg in front of you and the other behind you.
- Your front foot must be flat on the ground, and your back knee must be bent and resting on the ground.
- Keep your back straight, and your shoulders pulled back. Make sure your core is engaged.
- Once in the correct position, you can begin the exercise by lifting your front foot off the floor and stabilizing with the rest of your body.
- As you do this, your back stays straight, and your shoulders remain pulled back. Then, lower your front foot back to the floor and repeat the motion.
- Perform 10-15 repetitions on each side.
- It's essential to keep your core engaged throughout the exercise and to move slowly and in control.
4. Hip Hover
Hip hover is a dynamic and powerful movement that involves the hips and core. It is a great way to build strength and stability in the lower body while also challenging your balance and coordination.
It is a popular exercise in pilates, yoga, and fitness classes, as it can be modified to accommodate all fitness levels. It is essential to maintain proper form to get the exercise's total benefit and prevent injury.
Make sure to keep your abdominals engaged, your hips lifted, and your weight evenly distributed throughout the body. With practice and consistency, you can improve your hip and core strength. Here’s how to perform it:
- To do a hip hover, start by sitting on your butt with feet in front of you and hands supported on the ground.
- Keep your back flat and your abdominals engaged.
- On an inhale, lift both feet off the ground, keeping your knee bent and your toes tucked under.
- Keep your gaze forward, and your neck relaxed. Hold the pose for two to three breaths and then switch sides.
- You can do hip hover over blocks or other elevated surfaces to make it harder.
5. Banded Hip Flexion
Banded hip flexion is an exercise that works the hip flexors. Research claims that it is an excellent exercise for improving balance, stability, and coordination. You can add heavier resistance bands and modify them to suit your fitness levels. Banded hip flexion is an excellent exercise to add to your regular workout routine. Let's see how to perform it:
- Lay on your back with a band wrapped around your feet and place your arms by your sides
- Bring both legs off the ground and drive one knee towards your chest keeping your other leg extended.
- Hold this position for a few seconds before switching sides.
- Do 8-10 repetitions on each side, taking a short break between each set. If you find this exercise too easy, increase the number of repetitions or add a higher resistance band.
1. What exercises help strengthen the hip flexors?
Several exercises can help strengthen the hip flexors. One of the best ways to target them is through plank variations. This exercise works the deep core muscles and isolated strengthening of each side of the hip flexors individually.
Another excellent exercise for targeting hip flexors is lunge variations. Doing various types of squatting motions, such as lateral squats—instead of coming up right after dropping down into position, staying there (flexed) while rocking around laterally before standing—can be effective too!
2. What exercises help weak hip flexors?
Try these hip flexor strengthening exercises. Lunges engage the lead glute and quad muscles (as well as the rectus femoris, a hip flexor). Grab some sliding discs, paper plates, or even hand towels — anything that slides. You can also try a psoas hold or straight-leg raise.
3. What causes hip flexor weakness?
Inadequate muscle use or prolonged sitting can result in weak hip flexors. This muscle group can also be weakened by conditions such as osteoarthritis.
4. Do squats help strengthen the hip flexors?
Squats are the undisputed king of exercise. They put a lot of strain on the body's muscles (including the hip flexors). If you don't include some form of squatting pattern in your workout routine, you're missing out on developing stronger glutes and firmer legs.
The Bottom Line
Are you tired of weak and achy hip flexors? Well, time to say goodbye to them! With the right exercises, you can build strength in your hips for less pain and better mobility—not to mention improved posture. This article highlights five key moves that are surefire ways of boosting those troublesome muscles and grooving down with more freedom than ever before. Also, a few tips are shared that can help you build strong hip flexors, whether the benefits of solid hip flexors or the causes of weak flexors. Complete A to Z is covered for you.
If your hip flexors are not improving or you have some underlying medical pathology, consult your doctor. First, so we know it's safe, then get ready for the new-and-improved version of you! Last but not least, regular practice is critical. Get started now for maximum results!
- Kim, Si-Hyun, et al. “Lower Extremity Strength and the Range of Motion in Relation to Squat Depth.” Journal of Human Kinetics, vol. 45, no. 1, Mar. 2015, pp. 59–69. sciendo.com, https://doi.org/10.1515/hukin-2015-0007.
- Park, Jae-Cheol, and Dong-Kyu Lee. “The Effects of Bridge Exercise with One Hip Joint Adduction on Trunk Muscle Thickness.” The Journal of Korean Physical Therapy, vol. 32, no. 6, 2020, pp. 354–58. koreascience.kr, https://doi.org/10.18857/jkpt.2020.32.6.354.