Tight Hips? Tips To Loosen
Your Hip Flexors
What’s long and hard and as stiff as a
plank of wood? Get your mind out of the
gutter…I’m talking about your hip
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flexors. Tight Hip Flexors can be a big
problem, and so easy to get. In a
previous post, Pain At The Desk, we saw
how sitting down affects your hip flexors.
I know when I sit at the computer too
long I tighten up very quickly, and after
a long flight from Down Under to Europe
I’m as tight as a drum.
Where Are Your Hip Flexors?
The ‘Hip Flexors’ are a group of muscles
that, well, flex the hip. There are quite a
few muscles that actually flex the hip
but two that are specifically referred to
as hip flexors. The Illiopsoas group
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consists of the Psoas and the Iliacus.
Both attach to the femur. However the
psoas attaches to the lower backback,
whereas the Iliacus attaches to your
hipbone. Sitting down p
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in a shortened position, and as a result
leaves them pretty tight.
The Psoas attaches to the lower back, if
it’s tight, it can pull your back forward,
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and is a common cause of back pain i
A tight hip flexor will also go a long way
to inhibiting your bum which means
whatever work you are doing for it, you
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probably aren’t getting the desired
results. No bum means you are
susceptible to many more injuries, and
have a lack of power in simple things
such as walking.
What Can I Do To Loosen Them?
Well there are a couple of ways to get
these babies loose again. Massage,
Acupuncture Foam Rolling Self Massage
are all great ways to loosen up your hip
flexors. These should always be
accompanied with strength exercises and
hip flexor stretches.
When you think of loosening a muscle
stretching automatically comes to mind.
However you can also loosen your hip
flexors through exercises. It works by
taking y g
g your muscles through their rangeg
of motion dynamically. I’ll outline some
of my favourite exercises for loosening
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your hi flexors, there are a few more,
and if you want to add your favourite,
please leave a comment
This is possibly the best exercise you can
do for opening up your hip flexors. It is
basically a normal lunge but you hold a
medicine ball, or a light plate above your
head. Out stretch your arms, keep them
straight, directly above your head, and
complete the lunges.
You have something that is called fascia;
it’s basically a sheath that runs over your
muscles. Your fascia is a big issue in hip
flexor tightness, and often when that is
loosened, the muscle is too. Holding
something above your head whilst
lunging stretches this ffascia out, and you
get the added hip flexor stretch.
Same as a forward lunge, but done in
reverse! When you step back into the
reverse lunge, you are recruiting your
bum. Recruiting your bum inhibits your
hip flexors, meaning they will relax.
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Stepping back straight away puts the hip
flexors on stretch, and as you do the
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exercise, you t k them through a large
range of motion.
Performing a squat whilst holding a bar
overhead, opens up your hip area, and
promotes hip flexor range of motion. When
most people attempt this to start, the lower
they get, the more they will want to bend
forward. If you picture the hip flexors, they
attach from the upper thigh, onto the lower
back, if these are tight, as you try to get
lower, your hip fl
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hi flexors will pull you f d
By holding the bar above your head, you have
to stay up straight, basically lengthening your
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hip flexors during a dynamic movement.
Hip Flexor Stretches
Stretching is an obvious and essential way
to loosen those babies. I’ve just taken a
picture of my favourite stretch. I’m not sure
if I made it up or where I got it from, but for
now until someone tells me otherwise, I’ll
claim it. I often make up stretches just
trying to pin point an area. Basically you get
down on one knee, stretch your arms up,
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then try and touch your opposite hand to
opposite foot behind you. Check these
pictures to aid my terrible explanation
If you have tight hip flexors and suffer
from hip pain start adding these
exercises and stretches into your
workout, and you will see a difference. If
you have some favourite exercises for
loosening your hips, leave a comment
and we’ll discuss them.
Being able to stretch your hip flexors will
loosen them a lot, but taking it one step
further and releasing them manually will
be even more effective. Use a
combination of the two and you can’t go
wrong. Hitting your Hip Flexors isn’t the
easiest task, and takes a few little tricks.
h t i b ll t h th
If you have a tennis ball at home, then
you have the tools.
Lying on your stomach, you can place
the tennis ball directly under your Psoas
which you will find about 1.5- 2 inches to
the right or left of y
your belly button. It
helps to raise the ball up with a book, or
something substituting as a block.
You should hold that position for at least
30 seconds or until you feel a release
For more information on how to release
all the muscles in your hips plus many
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many more, make sure you check out my
new self releasing guide!