Hip flexors are a group of muscles that help you do basic things you make take for granted like walking, running, and even bending over to pick something up off the floor.
When these muscles known as hip flexors become injured or tightened it can cause you to have problems moving around.
Hip Flexor Muscles
There are several muscles that make up your hip flexors but the two most important muscles in this group are called the psoas and illacus. Together these 2 muscles in your hip flexor are called the illopsoas. According to Hip Flexors Info, tight hip flexors are usually caused when the illopsoas muscle becomes shortened.
The shortening of this muscle usually occurs when you develop the habit of sitting down all day. When you sit down it shortens your hip flexor muscles because they are no longer in the lengthened position they are naturally supposed to be in.
Continuing to keep your hip flexors in a shortened position will cause them to become injured or strained when you try to do a simple task such as walking or running. The sudden extension of these muscles after they’ve been in a shortened state for so long is what causes the problem.
How to Unlock Hip Flexors
You have to learn how to unlock your hip flexors if you want to lengthen them and avoid injury. There are a number of ways to lengthen your hip flexors and get them out of the shortened position they’re currently in.
The most effective way to lengthen your hip flexors is to do certain stretches and exercises, states Medical News Today.
When you do these stretches and exercises you want to focus on hips and other areas like your lower back and groin area. A couple of the best stretches and exercises to unlock tight hip flexors include:
One of the best tight hip flexor exercises are step ups. Step ups strengthen your hip flexor muscles and also helps lengthen them. Along with working your hip flexors, step ups will help strengthen other areas in your body connected to your hip flexors like your glutes, lower back, and groin area.
To do step ups properly do the following:
- Put your right foot on a chair and step up. Make sure you bend your right knee all the way to a 90 degree angle when you step up.
- Next you’ll to push through with your right heel to complete the step up. You’ll know you’re doing it right when your left foot is complete off the ground.
- Finally return to the position you started in and then repeat with your left foot.
Continue this step-up exercise at least 10 times with each foot to get the best results.
There are different variations of this stretch you can do to unlock hip flexors. It doesn’t matter what variation you decide to go with because they all work great.
The reason lunges are such a great hip flexor stretch is because they strengthen your hip flexor muscles and lengthen them. When you do this stretching exercise regularly your mobility and hip flexion will improve dramatically.
To do lunges correctly do the following:
- Start off standing up straight with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Now take a step to the left side of your body with your hands gripping your waist.
- Continue to step all the way to the left side of your body until your left knee is at a 90 degree angle.
- Hold this position for about 10 seconds and then return to your starting position.
Repeat this lunge stretch at least 10 times before switching to your opposite leg.
Once you unlock your hip flexors you’ll not only avoid injury and pain, but you’ll also be able to move around better. If you play sports you may also experience improvement in your speed when you run, and you’ll also have more strength in your lower body.