Hip flexors can often be an afterthought in anybody’s normal stretch routine, but it’s actually one of the most important! Hip flexors have a critical role in controlling the stability and flexibility of your lower body. Shortened hip flexors can lead to knee and ankle issues, as well as lower back pain. Keeping your hip flexors long with stretches like the one below can loosen up restrictions and keep you feeling healthy - whether training for a 5k run or sitting at the (home) office and being pain-free!
- Lie down and slide the foam roller beneath your pelvis.
- Draw one knee slightly toward your chest while reaching the other leg forward.
- Once in position, try to put more of your body weight onto the side of the extended leg. You might be able to feel a deeper stretch.
- To find your sweet spot, roll slightly higher or lower (on your buttocks). Experiment with shifting your body weight slightly back and forth (we call those micro-adjustments) until you have hit your target, the front of the hip.
- For a more intense stretch, try flexing the foot of the long leg so you’re reaching with your heel instead of your toes. Try also to turn the toes a bit inward, so that your thigh muscle is pointing directly up towards the ceiling instead of to the side.
- You can also pull the bent knee out towards the shoulder, this might help even flexible people feel a nice stretch.
- Breathe normally while holding the stretch. BTW - If you can't breathe normally, then you're working too hard. Ease up.
Related: Pilates Foam Roller Exercises