How To Loosen Tight Hip Flexors? Do These 3 Simple Stretches + 1 Great Exercise
Tight hip flexors and hip immobility is one of the issues surrounding most working adults, especially those that sit a lot during the day. Excessive sitting is the primary cause for this and no wonder most working adults have tight hip flexors problem.
As hip and our body core is the main mover for all our daily movements, a tight hip has a lot of negative effect on our daily lives. Sluggish movement, lower sports performance, lower sexual acts are all the symptoms of tight hip flexors.
To make matter worse, there is no drug or medications that can help with it – at least not in the long run. As the root cause is our sedentary lifestyle, the solution lies on the other side of the coin, namely being active.
So how to loosen tight hip flexors?
Here, I’ve listed down 3 stretches that have worked wonders for me to help combat tight hip flexors. In addition, I’ve also given out the one exercise that I feel everyone should do to increase hip flexibility.
Loosen your tight hip flexors with these stretches and exercises:
- Stretch #1- Quadriceps Stretch
- Stretch #2- Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
- Stretch #3- Standing Back Extension
- Exercise #1- Jogging
Stretch #1- Quadriceps Stretch
One of the main causes of tight hip flexors is excessive sitting. During sitting, our psoas major muscle and muscles at the front of the leg is shortened (as the legs have to be bent upwards).
Sitting for a long time causes these muscles to be shortened and tightened for a long time – something that is not good for muscles as they are elastic.
So the quad stretch seeks to stretch and elongate the tightened front leg muscles (or quadriceps). Notice that the positioning of the leg during the stretch is direct opposite of the position of the leg during sitting.
If you’re feeling a light stretch around the front leg and the muscles around the hips (connection between leg and hip), then you’re doing the right thing. Try to hold this position for 10-20 seconds per leg, for 2 reps.
One thing to beware of is try to keep your body in a straight line. Trying to stand on one foot can be difficult to some so keeping your body straight is the key to stabilize your body when doing this exercise.
Not to mention bending your body in any way decreases the effectiveness of this stretch!
A video showing how to do quadriceps stretch.
Stretch #2- Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
A progression from the quadriceps stretch above is the kneeling hip flexor stretch. Even though it looks very different with its kneeling position, it targets the same quad-hips area, though this stretch goes a bit deeper into the hip flexors.
Starting from a kneeling position, place one leg in front while the other on the back. Keep both knees bent at 90 degrees while at this position. Keep that pose for 10-20 seconds with 2-3 repetitions.
Then push your hips forward a bit to feel your deep hip flexors and psoas major muscles being stretch. This is the main difference with the quadriceps stretch above which seeks to stretch the quads and some superficial hip muscles.
This kneeling stretch, on the other hand, targets the deep hip flexors muscles. Trust me, the feeling is soo good – especially if you’ve been glued on your seat for few hours!
Above is the video showing how to do kneeling hip flexor stretch.
Stretch #3- Standing Back Extension
One of the best stretching I personally love as it’s very easy to do (no need to sit down or anything) without any complicated forms. It’s very easy to do but the effect that it have on your hip flexors AND lower back is so huge.
Simply stand upright and then push your hips to the front while making an arch with your upper body. You will soon feel a great relief around your lower back area. Keep that pose for 5-10 seconds with 2-3 repetitions.
This is one of my favorite stretching to be done when I’m taking short breaks in-between my hours long work sessions. If you’re also sit a lot for your job, then I’d recommend to take one minute break every 30-60 minutes of sitting.
And during those breaks, the standing back extension stretch can be used to relieve all those pressure and stresses on your lower back.
By the way, do beware of not over-arching your upper body too much. I found that over-arching of the body won’t really help with the relieve and instead it will put stress on the low back.
Above are the 3 stretches that I’ve personally used to help with tight hip flexors. Doing these stretches daily will bring lots of benefit especially if you’re one of those that sits a long time daily.
By the way, stretches alone won’t do much if you have chronic tight hip flexors and hip flexibility issues. So here is my no.1 exercise that can help with hip flexibility. Consider it a bonus in this article for you =)
The One Exercise That Help With Hip Flexibility – Jogging!
I found it quite sad to think that most health sites on the internet overlooked the benefit a plain good ol’ jogging can have to your hip.
To give some perspective, I’m not talking about those ultra marathon types of thing – just a 10-15 minutes sessions on the treadmill would suffice.
Before, I only do stretches and exercises to help with tight hips. While it did help with loosening up my movement and hip flexibility, I still felt that it was not up to par with the conditions of my body during my teen years.
Then I started to incorporate some light jog prior to my normal routine. The effect was instantaneous as I immediately felt better. I found that the key is to jog for 10-15 minutes at moderate speed UNTIL you’re sweating.
If you’re not sweating, it’s either the jogging session is too short or not enough intensity (so you need to amped up the speed of your treadmill).
Sweating means that you’re actually pushing your body past its normal movement routine and this is a signal to your body to release more endorphin.
By the way, there are also other cardiovascular activities such as cycling and swimming but I personally found that jogging is the best for those with tight hip flexors + low back pain combo (the unlucky bunch LOL!) as it has the most positive effect on our spine and hips and easiest to do.
Here are the benefits of jogging that I’ve found:
- It helps with hips flexors muscles movement as we will be constantly moving the legs and hips.
- As a direct effect with increased hip flexibility, you will soon feel it easier to move around and not as sluggish as before. You’ll be able to feel “light” after a good jogging session as the joints and muscles are forced to work more than what they are used to!
- Helps with low back pain (though if you’re just fresh of low back injury, it’s NOT recommended to jog)
- Elevate emotions as the moderate jog releases endorphin (the feel good hormone)! I also found that after a good jogging session, my thoughts is clear and I can think better. So now you know why many people advocate for early morning jog.
- Increased cardiovascular capacity and you won’t feel tired easily. If you feel easily fatigued after just taking on a few flights of stairs, then doing jogging can help to condition your body. Maintaining a good cardiovasular capacity will be very useful for emergency times…
As a disclaimer, while almost everyone can benefit from jogging, there are also some who will be worse off with it due to their body condition.
For example, if you’re fresh off a back injury or still having a chronic back pain, then most likely jogging is NOT for you as it will make it worse.
So I’d recommend (not only for jogging but for all other stretches and exercises) to keep a bio-feedback log of how you felt after you did anything.
For instance, jot down how you feel and did your body feel better or do you feel any pain after a jog. From there, you can pinpoint if a particular exercise is helping or is actually worsening your condition.
Want To Have A Great Guide On How To Loosen Tight Hip Flexors?
If you want to have a great guide on how to loosen tight hip flexors, then I’d recommend to get the Unlock Your Hip Flexors ebook.
I’ve personally used it and found that the exercises and stretches in it to be very helpful in managing my tight hip flexors.
The main item that the authors of the ebook (Rick Kaselj and Mike Westerdal) have is in their Sequential Flow Exercises.
They’ve developed a set of 10 exercises that when done in order, can help to unlock the deep hip flexor muscles and promote hip flexibility.
I had it for just $10 previously so I thought to myself why not just buy it. It’s just 10 bucks after all lol! (clink this link to see if the discount is still there). Little did I know this ebook worth much more than that!
Unlock Your Hip Flexors Ebook And Sequential Flow Exercise Plan
The ebook was neatly written and intended to be a complete guide to tight hip flexors. The one thing that I love about its sequential flow exercise is some of exercises are unique and not normally found when you looked for the term hip flexors stretch.
And that’s a good thing. I’ve found that the effect from stretching on youtube or other fitness sites are not long lasting. Sure, it works for a while but it does not really solve the big problem of the tight hip muscles.
The sequential flow exercises inside this ebook, on the other hand, help to unravel the muscles in a precise manner.
Not only that, the exercises are a mix of static stretching, dynamic stretching, muscle activation movement and core stabilization – all the good stuffs that helped to remodel the hip and core region to a good state.
Read The Ebook Or Watch The Video
Another good thing about the ebook is it also comes with a link to watch a coaching video. I’ve actually done both (read the ebook and watch the video) and I can say that both are complimentary to each other.
The ebook contains a lot of information on the theoretical side of how tight hip occurs and also the exercises in pictures. But I found the exercise guide to be somewhat confusing, especially on some of the special exercises that I’ve never seen before.
A screen shot of the helpful ebook. A great source for tight hip flexors
The 21 minutes coaching video on the other hand, is very concise and details how to do the exercises correctly. I enjoyed and learnt a lot from Rick Kaselj as he explain how to do the exercise, what to look out for, how to maximize its efficiency and what to expect.
A screenshot of the coaching video that is included as part of the ebook purchase. It contains detailed guidance on how to do the exercises, plus some eye-opening insights from the author, Rick Kaselj, on what each exercise will do. Definitely a must watch!
It’s very easy to understand and I’d recommend for anyone to watch the video if you don’t have time to read the ebook. All in all, the Unlock Your Hip Flexors ebook is one of the best guide if you want to tackle tight hips!
Tight hip flexors is not incurable. It’s one of those symptoms that happened due to our everyday habit, in this case excessive sitting and sedentary lifestyle. And one of the best way to treat tight hip flexors is by using stretching and exercises.
These 3 stretches and 1 exercise that I’ve detailed above works great in relieving the stresses of the hip flexors muscles and helping to create a well-balanced hip. Done diligently, it will go a long way to help with tight hip issues.
In addition, there’s also the Unlock Your Hip Flexors ebook that you can purchase and utilize its great sequential flow exercise plan that works wonders in treating tight hip flexors and increase hip flexibility.
I hope my article about how to loosen tight hip flexors with stretches is informative and helped you. Do let me know if you need any other information or any comments.
I’d love to hear from you guys =)