How much time do you spend sitting? If it’s a majority of your day, theres a good chance you have tight hips and hip flexor muscles. While it might not seem like a big deal, tight hips can be the criminal behind lower back pain, postural imbalances, decreased performance in sports, or nagging injuries. When the hip flexors are overdeveloped, tight, stiff or short, it can reek havoc on your health. If left unstretched, shortened hip flexors affect the quality of your daily life. What should you do? How can you prevent tight hips from hurting you?
Never fear! My Hip Flexor body care kit is here! This guide will teach you about your HIP FLEXOR muscle and provide you with easy strategies to keep your hips feeling fabulous. These workout tips will help you fight back against hip inflexibility and enjoy total body vitality. Enjoy, and heres to healthy, happy hips for life!
What the hip? Caroline’s detailed guide to your hip muscles.
The hip flexor is a major muscle group that attaches your femur to your pelvis and lower spine, allowing you to draw your knees up toward your torso and to move your legs back and forth and side to side. This collection of muscles encompasses a number of groups including:
- The iliopsoas, or muscles of the inner hip, which are the psoas major, psoas minor and the illiacus muscle
- The thigh muscles, rectus femoris and sartorius
- The gluteal muscle tensor fasciae latae
- The muscles of the inner thigh, adductor longus and brevis, as well as the muscles pectineus and gracilis
Are my Hips Tight?
Unfortunately, no matter how often we get up and move around, the majority of the day is still spent sitting down. The more you are in a seated position means the more time you spend in knee flexion, the action which causes the hip flexors to shorten. Overtime, too much knee flexion pulls the pelvis forward and causes over-stretching and weakness in your back and stomach. Too much sitting combined with exercise and not enough stretching can create even more problems.
How Tight hips Affect You
When the hips are tight, they can pull the top of your pelvis forward, compress the back of your lumbar (overly arching your lower spine), or draw the tops of your thighbones forward of and tightly into the hip sockets. These muscle imbalances and tight muscles along the hips often set us up for a cascade of problems. Tight hips can cause lower back pain for cyclists and swimmers, shoulder problems for tennis and baseball players, knee pain for runners, and other nagging daily aches. Tight muscles can affect a runner’s stride, slow down a cyclist’s cadence, and hinder a swimmer’s ability to move through the water with efficient form. You can increase the QUALITY of all your favorite activities simply by working on hip flexor flexibility.
Hip Flexor Flexibility
Daily hip flexor stretches are important in helping counterbalance the prolonged hip flexion caused by sitting for hours. Flexible hips enable you to move through full range of motion so you can extract as much power as possible from your legs. Flexible hips will prevent injuries, improve performance, and enhance the quality of your life. Believe it or not, you dont need a TON of time to stretch your hips. Just a few simple stretches performed on a daily basis will help you reap the benefits of flexible hips.
Caroline’s Simple Hip Flexor Stretch Routine. Free Flexibility Exercise Videos.
Stretching your hips should be like brushing your teeth = done multiple times a day for best body results. Stand up from your office desk for a quick stretch, finish your workout with a few hip opening exercises, and calm down from the day with a slow stretch routine before bed. Having healthy hip felxors IS possible. Here are some of my all time favorite hip flexor stretching exercises and flexibility videos. All great ideas for exercises to build into your daily routine to develop a healthy hip habit.
1. My all time favorite hip stretch using a wall.
2. Free Online Hip Opening Routine. Hip flexor flexibility exercise video. Includes four exercises: high lunge, warrior 2, low lunge, and proposal lunge.
3. Ten Minute Stretching Routine For Runners. Great quick series for after a workout.
4. Evening Relaxation Sequence. Flexibility for the hamstrings, calves, glutes, and of course your hip flexors!
I CHALLENGE you to implement the above exercises every day into your daily routine for ONE week. How do you feel? I’d be surprised if you felt worse than before 🙂 Leave a comment below after you’ve tried one of the above flexibility videos and tell me one difference YOU feel in your body from stretching your hips. I cant wait to hear how HAPPY your hips are!
Have any YouTube workout video requests? Im filming every week and would LOVE to make a video that helps you towards your goals. Leave your workout video requests as a comment below and I’ll upload a special workout video just for YOU. Thanks again for being such an amazing fitness family. Can’t wait to connect with you again soon 🙂 Till then… keep shining!
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