Tight hip flexors are a common problem, especially if you’re spending a lot of time in a seated position. When seated, your hip flexor muscles are in a shortened position which leads to them becoming tight and can result in lower back pain, hip pain and injury. Hip strength will increase when you stretch and along with your regular exercises, you can decrease and prevent injury and pain. Read on for our Top 5 Hip Flexor Stretches!
Try these stretches daily, or incorporate them 2-3 times per week. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds and use an exercise mat, or a folded towel under your knees on the floor, for comfort.
1. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
- Press the hips forward until you feel tension in the front of your right thigh
- Do not arch your back
- Try to deepen the stretch each time
2. Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)
- The forearms do not have to come down onto the mat, if this is too uncomfortable, stay on your hands, and your back knee can remain bent.
- Gently edge into your hips as much as is comfortable.
- Try not to drop your head. Keep your head and neck aligned with the spine.
3. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
This move can be held straight without adding the twist as well. This movement works your front leg with an external rotation whilst your back leg stretches the psoas.
- Relax your shoulders away from your ears
- Your hips should be square to the front of the mat
- Back foot extends straight off in line with your hip
- Lengthen through your spine
4. Seated Butterfly
- Keep your spine straight, avoid rounding your back
- Hold your chin up to maintain good posture
- Breathe throughout the stretch
5. Frog Pose (Mandukasana)
- Use a block under your forearms if needed
- Use a pillow or folded blanket under your knees
- If Frog Pose is too intense, try Half Frog Pose (Ardha Mandukasana). Here, bring your knees wide, and your feet towards one another, with the tops of your feet facing down.
These stretches have been specifically chosen to accurately target and isolate your hip flexors without requiring too much flexibility, agility, or involving other parts of your body (which might distract you). When you have better hip flexibility you will improve your anterior pelvic tilt and be more fully able to target your glutes and work your core with exercises such as squats, which in turn enhances your daily activities, postural health and overall wellbeing. Do hip stretching often? Tell us about it below, or on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! (Check out our other articles on stretching and yoga.)