Hip Flexor Exercise

Written by catherine hiles
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Hip Flexor Exercise
Vigorous exercise can put strain on your hip flexor muscles. (running image by Byron Moore from Fotolia.com)

The hip flexors are a group of muscles that allow the hip to move backwards and forwards when walking. Vigorous exercising can sometimes cause strain to the hip flexor, which causes pain and discomfort. Exercising and stretching this muscle group can help prevent injury.

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The Facts

Hip flexor injuries are common in athletes and can severely limit the ability to move well. This may prevent you from doing any type of exercise until the muscle is better. The Sports Injury Info website recommends warming up your muscles before every workout to prevent strain and injury. Starting your workout slowly and gradually building up speed and intensity can also help prevent injury to your hip flexor muscles.

Stretching

Regular stretching exercises can help strengthen the hip flexor muscles, which lessens the chance of injury to the area. Stretch before and after your workout if you don’t already do so. If you need help figuring out the correct way to stretch, join a yoga or Pilates class and ask the instructor to introduce hip flexor exercises.

Kneeling Exercise

Start by kneeling on one knee on an exercise mat. Place your front foot under your knee and gently lean forward, putting your weight on your front foot. Don’t let your knee come further forward than your foot or you’ll put unnecessary strain on the knee. Hold the stretch for at least 10 seconds, then repeat with the opposite leg. You should feel a pull in the hip flexor and thigh of your back leg.

Seated Exercise

Sit on the ground with your legs crossed, one in front of the other. Slowly lean forward, lowering your chest toward the ground. You’ll feel a stretch in the hip flexor of the outer crossed leg. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat on the other side. Keep your back as straight as possible when leaning forward. Don’t worry if your chest is nowhere near the ground at first. As you become more flexible, you’ll be able to sink deeper into the stretch.

Laying Down Exercises

Lay on your front on an exercise mat and place your hands under your shoulders in a push-up starting position. Slowly straighten your arms to lift your upper body off the floor, keeping your hips on the exercise mat. You’ll feel the stretch in both hip flexors. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.

Lay on your back on an exercise mat with both legs up in the air. Bend your right knee and grab your leg behind the thigh. Pull your right leg toward you and lower your left leg toward the ground until you feel a stretch. Keep your left leg as straight as possible for maximum stretch. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat with the left leg.

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