Everyone knows that if they want to maintain optimal performance in their training, they must stretch their Tight Hip Flexors. That said, people often forget about this mobility component and think it’s going to be the trick to stretch your hips alone. It’s not going to.
So, if you’re suffering from stiffness in the back or trying to avoid injury in the back? I’m going to show you how to ease stiffness in the back and increase flexibility in the back. This single post covers, What are Tight Hip Flexors, It’s Demerits and Advantages of having Flexible Hip Flexors, 6 best gentle and effective Yoga Tight Hip Flexor Stretches, Treatment, and The Preventive Measures to avoid this.
It is easy to perform these Yoga stretches at home or in the gym. The stretches in this article are intended for healthy adults as general information and not a specific treatment for lower back conditions. Talk to your health care practitioner before you start new stretches backward. Stop performing this stretches if it causing you any physical discomfort.
But before we can hop on the stretches, we first have to figure out if you have tight hip flexors and for that below is a simple test that you can go through to figure out.
Test To Find If You Have Tight Hip Flexors
The Thomas test is the classic hip flexor tightness test. This test may distinguish between iliopsoas and iliacus tightness, but not between iliacus and psoas. So, for you, I have a better test that you can do right now at home without anybody’s help.
Lie on your back and make your legs straight. Check three things while you’re in this position for 60 seconds to 90 seconds:
- Do I feel that my quads, hips, and back are tight?
- Do I feel my hip pulling and my low back pulling?
- Does it feel like in my lower back I have an increased curve? Or do I feel like there’s plenty of space when I put my hand under my back?
These are the three questions you ask yourself about 60 seconds to 90 seconds while you’re in this position.
Bend your legs at about 60 to 90 seconds to lower the stretch on the hip flexor. You put a stretch on your hip flexors when you have your legs straight. The shorter they are, the greater the effect they have on the tightness and the lower back they pull.
Now that you’ve bent your knees, ask yourself in the quads, hips, and back about that tightness.
- Has it decreased significantly compared to the straight legs?
- Has the pulling dropped dramatically in the hip and back?
- And has that curve dropped substantially in your back by putting your hand under your back to check and confirm?
You’re going there! Look at the answers you give to these questions. If you have a lot of tightness in your quad, hips, and back, it’s a good sign that your hip flexors also have tightness.
If you’ve got a lot of pulling on your hip and low back, it’s a good sign that your hip is tight. Also, if you’re laying straight with your legs and you’ve got a big curve in your lower back, that’s a sign you’ve got a tight hip flexor.
If you have any of these signs, addressing the hip flexor tightness is important because it can greatly affect your health and performance. It can also increase injury risk and slow injury recovery.
Demerits of Tight Hip Flexors
Not just a bit of soreness we’re talking about; tight hip flexors are the root cause of problems like:
- Swallowing joint pains in your legs, lower back or hips
- Walking with discomfort
- Hips locking up
- Bad posture
- Trouble sleeping
- Sluggishness in day-to-day life
- High Anxiety
- Digestive problems
- Compromised Immune System
- Circulatory issues
- Loss of sexual performance
- Lack of gym or sports explosiveness
Advantages of Flexible Hip Flexors
For active people and athletes, strong hip flexors are particularly important, as studies have shown links between weak hip flexor that stabilize muscles and injuries.
Why are the hip flexors important? Not only because most people do not focus on reinforcing their flexors, but also because we do things that weaken and shorten (or tighten) them every day.
For instance, if you sit for hours a day in front of a computer or at a desk, it both shortens and tightens the muscles in the front of the body (including your hip flexors). It also rounds your shoulders forward, together with a forward – headed posture.
And then if after sitting at the desk all day you go to the gym for a workout and you don’t stretch and reinforce your hip flexors, you can make up that bad posture, creating muscle imbalances.
How is this going to happen? Because, while in the wrong position, you are essentially training muscles.
Best Yoga Stretches To Get Rid of Tight Hip Flexors
#1. Low Lunge
Target: Hip Flexors
Start in the lung of a runner, knee over ankle, right leg forward, and left knee on the ground with the top of your foot flat on the mat. Lift your torso slowly and rest your hands lightly on your right thigh. Lean hips slightly forward, holding your right knee behind your toes and feeling the stretch in the left hip flexor. Hold here, or lift your arms overhead for a deeper stretch, biceps by ears. Repeat on the opposite side for at least 30 seconds.
#2. Happy Baby Pose
Target: Inner Thighs
Pull your knees to your chest and lie on your mat. Place your hands on the outside of your feet and open your knees wider than your torso. Press your feet into your hands as you pull your feet down and create resistance. Breathe deeply; hold for 30 seconds at least.
#3. Half Pigeon
Target: Outer Thighs
Start with right leg forward in a runner’s lung, right knee over right ankle and straight back leg. Walk right to the left hand, then drop right shine and thigh to the ground, making sure to keep the right knee in line with right hip. Allow left leg with top left foot facing down to rest on the floor. Take a moment to the front of the room to square your hips.
Hold here, or hinge towards the floor on the hips and lower torso, allowing the head to rest on forearms. Repeat on the opposite side for at least 30 seconds. You want to feel a moderate stretch on the outside of the right thigh, but if this pose hurts your knees or feels too uncomfortable, stick to the Needle Thread.
#4. Frog Stretch
Target: Inner Thighs
If you feel too easy with most inner – thigh openers (and your ankles and knees are injury – free), try Frog Pose. Get down on all fours, with palms on the floor and knees on blankets or a mat (roll your mat lengthwise, like a tortilla, and put it under your knees for more comfort).
Widen your knees slowly until you feel a comfortable stretch in your inner thighs, keeping in contact with the floor the inside of each calf and foot. Make sure your ankles are in line with your knees. Bottom-up to your forearms. Stay here for 30 seconds at least.
Target: Hip Flexors
Start kneeling with hip-width apart knees on your mat and hips directly over your knees. Push your shins into the mat with the tops of your feet. Bring your hands to the bottom of your back, point your fingers and rest your palms above the glutes. Inhale and lift your chest, then start leaning back your torso slowly.
Bring your right hand to your right heel from here and then your left hand to your left heel. (If you are unable to reach your heels, turn your toes underneath; this modification will make it easier to reach your heels.) Press your thighs forward so that they are perpendicular to the floor. Keep your head in a relatively neutral position or drop it back if it does not strain your neck.
Hold 30 seconds. Bring your hands to your hips to get out of the pose and lift your torso slowly with your chest as you press the thighs down to the ground.
#6. Supported Back Bend
Target: Hip Flexors
As you open your hips, this exercise strengthens your lower back. Because the head falls backward, if you have low blood pressure, it is not recommended to try this move. (Note also that if you have high blood pressure and are taking medication, you may experience dizziness from this pose and may want to avoid it.)
Kneel behind you with a wall or pillar, knees apart with hips-width and toes that touch the wall. Arch your back to lean back and stack your hips over your knees. Take your arms overhead and hit the wall behind you with your palms as low as you can. In order to feel a great stretch in the hips and strength in the lower back, this bend does not need to be extremely deep.
Medical Treatment For Hip Flexor Injuries
People usually do not visit their doctor for minor hip flexor injuries, but rather treat themselves from home. Some common ways to help treat hip flexor strain are:
- Rest the muscles to help them heal while avoiding activities that could cause further strain.
- Wearing a wrap around the area of compression. These can be purchased in pharmacies or online.
- Applying an ice pack to the area concerned. These are available for purchase in pharmacies or online.
- Applying the affected area with a heat pack.
- A hot shower or bath.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), naproxen sodium (Aleve) are available for purchase in pharmacies or online.
It is important to follow the instructions when taking these medicines and not to use them for more than 10 days. If the pain persists after 10 days, a person may wish to make an appointment to discuss alternative treatments with their doctor.
When To See A Profesional
In more severe cases, a doctor will usually recommend an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan to determine if the bone has been fractured. If the damage is unusually extensive, a doctor may recommend seeing a physical therapist or undergoing surgery to repair the muscle. However, cases of such severe damage are rare.
If hip flexor strain causes a limp or the symptoms do not improve after a week’s rest and treatment at home, seeing a doctor may be advisable.
Some Tips To Keep In Mind To Prevent Tight Hip Flexors
1. People who are particularly vulnerable to hip flexor strain, such as athletes or those who participate regularly in vigorous activities that might damage or exaggerate the hip flexors, may take precautions to avoid injury.
2. Ensuring that muscles are properly warmed before taking part in physical activity and doing muscle – enhancing exercises can help keep the area flexible and strong and reduce the chances of damage.
So this was the complete info about Tight Hip Flexors, hope you found the information you needed. Feel free to share your queries and opinions in the comments below. Share this post with your friends and family to let them, groom. And don’t forget to join softiview to get updated to more awesome posts like this!
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