What Are The Best Hip Flexor Exercises ? - DailyAchiever

What Are The Best Hip Flexor Exercises ?

Hip flexors are muscles surrounding the highly complex ball-socket joints. This joint, connecting the lower and upper body, with the help of hip muscles maintain body weight and balance and gives you the desired flexibility and mobility.

Despite its important role these hip flexor muscles are most neglected when it overall fitness program. There are five distinct muscles, namely sartorius, rectus femoris, iliacus, and psoas. The last two iliacus and psoas are technically not separate muscle and commonly known as the iliopsoas.

Ignoring these muscles in your overall exercise could be fatal and can cause injuries. To strengthen these muscles you have to do specific exercises with focus on these muscles. Every set of exercise and stretches have a different impact on target tissues, so let us understand some basics here.

  • If you are doing lunge stretch with the knee bent, then you are stretching your rectus femoris instead of the psoas.

  • The rectus femoris crosses the knee so use keen bent smartly to have a better impact.

  • If you want to focus on psoas, which originates from lumbar vertebrae and remains attached to the femur, you have bent knee less and use lumbar spine more in stretching. The simple way to do so is by side-bending away from the extended hip.

  • Originating from pelvic crest the Iliacus it goes to the femur.

  • Sartorius originates from the bump of the pelvic bone and remains attached to the shin bone.

The most important part about stiffness is it is not isolated but related to other muscles starting from your neck down to leg muscles. So, ultimately it is always a full-body exercise with some specific focus on hip flexors to have healthy back and hip.

Tight Hip Flexors Risks

Stiffness of any of the five hip flexor muscles can cause several complications in different parts of your body. If not kept in right shape with a proper dose of exercising and stretching the tightness can lead to:

  • Limited mobility around hip joints

  • Pain in the lower back

  • Abnormal walking as you try to adjust pain leading to further aggravate the situation

  • Excessive pain resulting in making you slow while walking

  • Pain in the hip as muscles

  • Fitness related injury as you miss the balance calculations

Best Hip Flexor Exercises

Frankly if you hate the “ah” sound with complex facial expression coming from someone who faces difficulty in lifting something from the ground or own body from sitting posture, then make stretching of hip flexors part of your daily fitness routine. Since these muscles remain contracted for a long period of time while sitting, the only possible to bring then back to a normal state is to actively stretch using several techniques.

Here are 10 best hip flexor exercises to help you keep your flexor muscles in good shape so that you could avoid back and hip pain. Before we move to the exercise regime, one thing that needs to be taken care of is the proper 10-minute warming session involving waist circles, side & front lunges, leg swings, high knees, and kicks. Take some rest and then be ready for hip flexor session.

Your muscle is composed of fascicles and each fascicle is composed of a bundle of muscle fibers and these fibers, in turn, are composed of thousands of myofibrils which are nothing but millions of sarcomeres ad at the end all are it is nothing but contractile protein primarily actin and myosin. When you stretch you’re your body apply extra effort to contract the muscle resulting into the higher activity of muscle protein resulting in relaxing. The muscular relaxing gives you normalcy and the desired flexibility. Same applies to hip flexor stretches as all effort is directed towards bringing your muscle to a normal state. Some exercises to stretch flexors are;

Seated Butterfly Stretching

butterfly stretch

The particular stretch helps in stretching the hips, thighs, and lower back. Since it is less intensive, it is very easy to do. All you have to do sit in a particular way so that desired flexibility could be achieved.

Steps to perform butterfly Stretch:

    • First of all sit on the floor with both your legs extended in front of you

    • Sit straight with your shoulders rolled back

    • Now, spread your knees and touch the soles together

    • Hold the feet together with your palms and draw them towards your groin

    • Stay in this position for 30-40 seconds

    • Now lean forward with a straight back and push keens to the floor using elbow

    • Get back to normal state slowly

    • Maintain proper breathing cycle and keep head stable

It helps you heal the inner muscles and get the desired flexibility to hip joints. To get the best results, do 1 set of 10 reps and make this part of your daily fitness regime so that muscle remains flexible.

Bridge Stretching

bridge stretching

Coming from the yoga, this posture helps you get the stretching of sarcomere for effective realignment of muscles. This also is on less intensive nature and very easy to do.

Steps to perform bridge stretching:

    • Use a mat and lie down on it with flexed knees and feet on the ground mat

    • Keep your hands close to the body, and let your palm touch the ground.

    • Now push your hips up without raising your heels. Keep in mind that your hip, knee, and shoulder in line. Be there in the same position for 3-4 seconds

    • Return to normal position slowly.

To get effective results, keep your shoulder in a relaxing position and do two sets with seven repetitions. This stretching helps maintain the spinal muscle support system, giving it an option to regain the alignment.

Pigeon Stretching

pigeon stretch

This pose is meant to give your hips the deep stretch. This yoga posture is relatively difficult to do as be little cautious in early days as this might strain some muscle.

Steps to do pigeon stretch:

    • First of all sit in a cat pose with your hands below the shoulder, knees below your hips.

    • To make it comfortable, keep point toes outward and palms flat on the floor

    • Now, take your knee forward towards your hands. Stretch your knee to an extent that that heel should be near next hip. Keep your left leg fully extended at the back.

    • Push your head backward with an eye on the ceiling.

    • Take a deep breath while stretching keen forward and then exhale and lower your chest toe ground. Be in the position depending on your comfort level. Maintain proper breathing cycle during the whole process.

    • Inhale once again and get back to the normal position. Now switch legs and repeat the process.

For comfort you can use yoga block and for the best output do 2 sets with 3 reps. Pigeon stretching will help you regain the total alignment of lower-back muscles as full-body gets involved in the process.

Standing Hip Hinge

hip hinge

 

This helps you bring back the natural flexibility and mobility of pelvic girdle related muscles. This is pretty easy to do.

Steps to do standing hip hinge

    • First of all, stand straight with a little gap between the legs.

    • Now keep palms on sides of your hips and hold your waist and then roll back your shoulders

    • Next, take your upper body little backward and let your neck go loose.

    • Be in the same posture for 5-6 seconds with proper breathing.

    • Return to normal position and do two sets of seven repeats.

For better results you can add forward-leaning to repeat the same as this will have a stretching effect on your hip flexors and the quads as well. You can do it anywhere, as it doesn’t require any special preparation. If you are liking these exercises then we do recommend checking out our unlock your hip flexors review.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

flexor stretch

Here is another gift from the marvelous yoga to give you natural flexibility. Since it gets inspiration from nature, so it is very easy to do.

Steps to do kneeling flexor stretch

    • To start, stand on a mat and take your one leg forward.

    • Take a deep breath and take your body forward till your other knee touches the ground.

    • To maintain balance, keep hands on your waist

    • Now, push your hips little forward and takes the other leg behind.

    • Maintain straightness of your spine

    • You have to push a little more to feel the stretch on the thigh and hips.

    • Be in the position for 10 seconds and maintain proper breathing cycle.

    • Go back to the normal position and repeat with an alternate set of legs.

For better results, use your body weight smartly as it helps you get amazing results. It is good to do two sets of seven repeats.

Camel Stretching

camel stretch

This is very effective in maintaining the flexibility of your back as this helps you activate the sarcomere and get better alignment of muscles. This is a bit intense in nature, so don’t try to overstretch as this might cause injury if not done properly.

Steps to do camel stretching

    • First of all, kneel down on a yoga mat with a little gap in your knees hip for balancing.

    • Now, press your shin bones to the mat

    • Next, take your hand back on your waist with finger supporting the pelvic.

    • Now, take a breath and lean backward slowly

    • Next, move your hand from waist to heels.

    • Try to keep thigh at the right angle to the ground and be in the same posture for 5-6 seconds to generate optimum stretching.

    • Maintain proper breathing, and return to the normal posture following the sequential process.

If you are trying it for the first time, then you can enjoy the liberty of hand moving and heel holding but do reach perfection as quickly as possible. For effectiveness, do two sets of five repeats.

Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises

The basic unit of a contraction muscle fiber is sarcomere from where the stretching of a muscle fiber begins. With the contraction of sarcomere, the overlap area between thin and thin myofilaments increases. In the whole process muscle fiber gets its natural resting length and with additional stretching passes the realigning force to connective tissues resulting in the rehabilitation of the hardened tissue back to health. Of course, this doesn’t happen in one session as the process takes time to train the muscle to align in a particular way.

These set of exercises help you strengthen the legs with more focus on hip flexors. You can do these exercises in the gym as well as home. Apart from stretching that helps in giving you muscles the desired natural flexibility you need to do some exercises to strengthen the hip flexor muscles for better functioning of your back.

Lunges

lunges

If you are more focused on strengthening legs and hips muscles, then lunges are a best possible option for you as this invigorates metabolism resulting in hyper actin and myosin activity resulting in perfect muscle adjustment and strength gain. You have several options of lunges including backward, forwards and sides to help boost the mobility of muscles. Whatever option you choose the process is the same just direction and balance of movement changes. The simplest of all is the forward lunge.

Steps to perform forward lunges:

    • First of all, stand straight with a little gap between feet.

    • Next, move your hand on side of hips and hold it with spread fingers.

    • Now take a step forward with heels properly touching ground flat.

    • Keep on bending the front knee until the thigh goes parallel to the ground and the knee is over the ankle. Keep the other knee bent towards the ground

    • Now reverse the process and come back to a normal straight position and repeat the process with alternate sides

If you are a beginner, then start with seven to 10 repetitions and build the strength to go up to 20 repetitions.

Straight Leg Movement

leg movement

This simple exercise involving slow rise of your straight leg is all-time great and is highly effective. You can do it anytime in a relaxing moment by raising one leg at a time slowly with perfect breathing coordination. The simplicity of performance makes it one of the popular and effective exercises to add strength to your pelvis and back.

Steps to perform straight leg raise:

    • First of all lie down on a comfortable mat in relaxing posture with straight arms on both sides.

    • Now, move your feet towards your buttock so that a triangle of ground feet and ankle could be formed

    • Now slowly lift one leg proper inhaling and bring in down slowly with exhale. Repeat the process in your comfort zone within 8-10 repeats.

Squats

squats

If you more focused on your leg muscles, yet want to have desired on inner hip flexors then squats give you the best results in terms of strengthening. The advantage of squat is to have the flexibility at the user end to adjust according to own endurance for intensity.

Steps to do squats:

    • After the required warm-up and relaxing stand straight with leg little apart and hand on the side.

    • Now take a deep breath and bend the knees and push your buttocks little backward

    • You have to keep your thighs parallel to the ground to generate enough stretch and keep knees in line with your feet

    • You will feel little pressure on abs so maintain breathing for desired internal power.

    • Now, move your hand upward up to chest level

    • It is a bit intensive in nature play the game according to your strengths. You will master the art slowly.

    • For better results, it is ideal to repeat 10 to 30 times and as you gain strength you can jump and weight along with extra weight movement in hands

Clamming

clamming

If you are a dancing pro in need of extra string hip muscle for smooth rotary movement, the clamming is the best for you as this helps you calms your hip flexor sand gain strength in due course. To gain additional strength you can add resistance depending on your need. However, it requires a combination of other exercises to maintain muscular balance.

Steps to do the clamming exercise:

    • First of all warm-up your body and lie down on the ground to let your breath normalize. Then take a little turn with free back and stack legs on top of each other. Best your keens at approx 60 degrees.

    • Now, open the upper knee and point it towards the ceiling. However, in the process keep the feet stacked together. Don’t roll backward on the lower hip.

    • Next, close the leg and finish the process.

    • For normal strength building, you have to repeat it 20-30 time each side

    • If you want to add more strength then you have to add some resistance like a rubber band to gain hat extra strength

Mountain Stretching

mountain stretch

The name comes from the mountain climbing plank-like posture. As with mountain climbing, this helps you build those extra muscular strength required for climbing the mighty rock. It is a little intense in nature, so be careful about your own strength and move in steps.

Steps to do mountain stretching:

    • Let your muscle get some warmness followed by some relaxation then start in a regular plank. Keep your hands and feet placed in the plank position with desirable balancing width.

    • Be firm with your hand as you need to maintain the balance

    • Now bring the one knee up to the chest and then get back to the normal position and then bring the next knee forward.

    • If you are a beginner, the 7-8 repeats are enough for you but focus on achieving the 20-25 repeats in on the session.

Double Banded Pull Through

double band

If you are into athletics and looking for that extra dose of strength in your hip flexor then you have to apply some additional resistance to improve contraction and reflex of the muscular adjustments. You have to buy some exercising types of equipment like the band and some weights.

Steps to do double-banded pull through

    • First of all great ready with your structure like attaching a long resistance band low to the wall behind you.

    • Now come to the action zone, stand with back towards the wall and spear your feet with 12-14 inches gap and loop the band just above your knees.

    • Spread your leg and start adding force from your thigh to stretch the band forward.

    • Take a step forward with balancing back posture and try to grab the long band between your legs. This will make you feel the pressure in your inner thighs and glutes.

    • Keep your spine straight to get maximum output as we are evolutionarily conditioned to back straight for efficient functioning. Repeat this activity 12 to 15 times in a session for effective results.

Your hip and back act like a pillar to a multi-story building any weakness can lead to the collapse of the whole structure. So, be active and attentive to the signs of weakness building in your hip flexor muscles and act to maintain the fitness for a painless better life.

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