Today’s post will be take a quick look at the hip flexor group and offer a small tweak to your typical bodily maintenance routine to help open up and add length to these often tacked down tissues. Because many of us spend a large amount of our time sitting either at a desk, in the car, or on the sofa these muscles can shorten and overtime cause discomfort. This pain or discomfort often radiates in the low back as the pelvis is forced to tilt forward causing undo stress to the lumbar spine.
Typically to stretch and lengthen these muscles you will see people perform and exercise like the one shown below. Unfortunately many individuals don’t get the desired effect of this movement because they simply extend at their lumbar spine to find the range of motion (ROM). To get the greatest results from this stretch it is important to brace the spine into a neutral position and maintain this throughout the entire range of motion. The photo below on the left shows the person demonstrating the movement while searching for extra ROM with the lumbar spine while the photo on the right shows the person engaging their glutes while maintaining a tall and neutral spine.
To add a quick twist to this common hip flexor mobilization try adding a resistance band to set the hip in just a tad bit of internal rotation like the photos below show. Because these muscles don’t lie in a strictly vertical pattern adding this rotation gives just the proper amount of additional pull many of our muscles need. Don’t be surprised if you initially have to shorten your ROM a bit when preforming this stretch with the band. Hopefully this quick tutorial has brought life and length to your hips and reduced some low back pain at the same time. Check back soon for another post.