The hip flexor muscles, the muscle group located on the front of the thigh, is an all too common site where muscular imbalances can occur. Simple daily acts, such as sitting, driving a car, walking, running, and even kicking a ball can overtime lead to the shortening of this muscle group. This shortening causes anterior tilting of the pelvis, and in turn a strong pulling and tightening of the opposing hamstring muscles, and often results in pain in the lumbar back region, hip joint and/or knee.
Here is a simple hip flexor stretch you can do right now to help prevent or correct the shortening of the hip flexor muscles:
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch:
- Begin with both knees at 90 degrees, so that the front ankle is directly below the knee, and the rear knee is positioned directly under the hip
- Maintain a nice upright torso position throughout the stretch
- Contract the abdominal muscles, squeeze the butt, and tilt the pelvis posteriorly
- While maintaining the posterior pelvic tilt position, shift your body weight forward to create a stretch in the rear hip flexors
- Place your rear hand over your head and gently lean the torso away from the stretch
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and repeat 3 times before moving to the other side
Note: If you can’t feel a nice stretch in the rear hip flexors when performing this stretch, check to ensure you are maintaining correct posterior pelvic tilt.