When I started running again after my fourth baby was born, my hips would feel strained during the run and very sore after the run. I felt like they were so weak and needed some strengthening. I found that the right stretches along with targeted hip workouts, specifically for strengthening hip flexors, were all I needed.
What are hip flexors?
Many people have never thought of their hip flexors as being muscles they need to work out and strengthen. Hip Flexors are the group of muscles near the hip joint. They are responsible for creating motion in the hip or the flexed movement when you bring your leg and knee up towards your torso. They help you perform many different movements that are made every day, like bending over to pick something up or standing up from a sitting position.
Your hip flexors are constantly working. They work along with other muscles in the body (like neck, shoulder, core, and lower legs) to help maintain stability and good standing posture. There are four main category’s of hip flexor muscles depending on where they are located around the hip joint — adductor, gluteal, lateral rotator, and iliopsoas.
These muscles can be weakened by a variety of things including living a sedentary lifestyle, injury, trauma (even pregnancy and childbirth), or sitting for long periods of time (thanks COVID). It’s important to keep them flexible and strong.
How do I strengthen my hip flexors?
Because of the many movements our body makes in a normal day, it’s so important for our hip flexors to stay strong, loose, and flexible. These hip muscles can become weak or tight from being in a seated position for a prolonged period of time. They may become stiff after working out and not warming up properly. Sometimes a fall, injury, or even pregnancy and childbirth can cause problems with the hip flexors feeling strained or unstable.
There are multiple ways to stretch or strengthen your hip flexors. It is possible to restore the flexibility and strength in your hip flexors. Just like any other muscle, it needs to be stretched regularly and worked out regularly to be strengthened. Incorporating these stretches or workouts into your regular routine will help your hip flexors stay strong to support you in an active lifestyle and throughout the rest of your life.
The top 5 BEST stretches for the hip flexors
These hip flexor stretches are the BEST if you:
- Are a beginner
- Haven’t been regularly stretching
- Need to warm up your hip flexors before a workout
- Are looking to increase your flexibility
- Have a hip (or close muscle area) injury or strain and need to start slow
- Have just had a baby or another big physical event
The top 5 BEST stretches for hip flexors are found HERE. You will find THE BEST in depth hip flexor stretches including lunge stretches, butterfly, simple yoga poses, and more!
The BEST workouts to strengthen the hip flexors
These hip flexors workouts are the BEST if you:
- Live an active lifestyle and want to add hip flexor workouts to your routine
- Are looking for workouts to strengthen your hip flexors
- Need to strengthen your hip flexors for running or another sport
The BEST workout for hip flexors are found HERE. You will find THE BEST in depth hip flexor workouts including mountain climbers, donkey kicks, lunges, and more!
A Few Last Tips:
Remember to start slow if there is an injury or strain. Don’t push too hard, but build up your flexibility and reps as you get stronger. Overtime, you WILL feel a difference. I know I felt much stronger in my running, especially when I started doing longer distances. My hips and legs felt more stable, I was able to recover faster, and reduce injuries.