Are tight hips affecting your exercise sessions? There are several instances in which you might experience tightness in hip flexors. If you are experiencing hip flexor pain due to tightness in the muscles, there are some specific hip flexor exercises that can help you out.
What is Tightness in your Hip Flexor?
A sensation of tightness in hip flexor is experienced when tension tends to develop around the hip flexors. Hip flexors are referred to as the group of muscles located near the top of the thighs. These muscles play a vital role in determining the overall movement of the lower body. They allow you to walk easily, bend, kick, and swivel the hips. However, if the muscles here become too tight or if you tend to make some sudden movements, the hip flexor can stretch or tear, causing immense pain.
A strain that occurs in the hip flexor might range from being mild to severe, causing troubles while walking or having muscle spasms. As per the experts, regular hip flexor stretches or exercises might help the flexors to get loose and prevent further injuries. Some of the major hip flexors or muscles around are:
- Rectus femoris
- Tensor fasciae latae
Many individuals out there tend to suffer from tightness in hip flexors –especially those who tend to sit for longer hours at a time, regular gym-goers, and even professional athletes. Some people tend to be more prone to getting hip flexors than others. The condition of the tightening of hips might only enhance the overall risks of injuries as the demand for movement on the surrounding tissues increases.
Popular Hip Flexor Stretches & Exercises
If you are experiencing hip flexor pain, it is high time that you should be aware of the common hip flexor exercises or hip flexor stretches that might help you obtain relief from the same. Right from hip flexor stretches to foam roller stretches, here are some of the common exercises that you should know about:
Foam Roller Stretch: For doing this body stretch, you can make use of a foam roller for loosening up the tight hips. You are required to follow the steps as follows:
- Lying face down, you are required to place the foam roller beneath the right hip
- Place the left leg to your side by bending your knee at a 90 Degree angle
- Towards the front, you are required to raise the forearms placed on the ground such that you are taking some of the body weight off of the hip. This makes the overall stretching less painful.
- Stretch the right leg behind you by keeping your toes pointed backward along with the foot’s front lying flat against the surface
- Now, you are required to move slowly backward & forward over the surface of the foam roller.
- For getting an extra stretch, you can consider adding some side-to-side movements as well.
- Continue this stretching for around 30 seconds. As you keep rolling, it is imperative for you to come across certain trigger points that might become more painful during the stretch. Therefore, you might as well focus on the specific target areas for 10 seconds more to get relief from the tightness.
- Now, repeat the same steps with the left hip.
Kneeling Hip Flexor: You can ensure doing this stretch on a daily basis to prevent tightness in hip flexor. Here are the steps to follow:
- Kneel down on the right knee.
- Place the left foot forward on the surface with the left knee placed at a right angle.
- Keep driving the hip in the forward direction. Try maintaining your back straight as you keep leaning the torso forward.
- Ensure that you are holding a specific position for at least 30 seconds.
- Repeat the procedure for around 3-5 times with each leg. Every time, you can try increasing the stretch time.
Pigeon Stretch: When you are practicing yoga, you can come across the pigeon stretch on a frequent basis. Pigeon stretch of the hip flexors is known to improve the overall mobility and flexibility in the hip region. Here are the steps for you to follow:
- You can commence by placing your hands & knees in a position like a tabletop.
- Now, you can bring the right knee towards the front and continue placing the same behind the right wrist.
- Keep the right ankle towards the front of the left hip.
- Stretch out the left leg behind by keeping it straight. Make sure that the leg is kept straight and the toes pointed during the stretch.
- Ensure the square position for your hips.
- Gently, you are required to lower your body to the ground.
- Try staying in the lowered position for around 10 seconds.
- You can then release the given position after 10 seconds by giving your hands a push, lifting the hip region, and moving your legs back into the straight posture.
- You can now repeat the steps for the other side of the body.
Butterfly Stretch: This stretch is considered great for loosening the tightness in the muscles around the hip after an intense workout or a work break.
- Sit on the ground by keeping both the legs in front of you –straight
- Try bringing the soles of the feet together. Now, you are required to move the heels of the feet as close to the body as possible for you.
- Now, you can consider leaning forward by keeping your back straight.
- Keep pushing on the thighs with the elbows for ensuring a deeper stretch.
- Try holding the stretch for around 30 seconds.
Right from the common hip flexor stretches to foam roller stretches, these exercises can help in loosening the tightened hip muscles. You might also get ample relief after undergoing some treatment from a qualified specialist or a remedial massage therapist.