Are you sick and tired of always stretching your hip flexors day after day but never seeing any improvement?
News flash: Your hip flexors shouldn’t feel like steel cables!
WHAT CAUSES TIGHT HIP FLEXORS
Tight hip flexors are usually caused by a combination of prolonged sitting and poor pelvis mechanics, which leads to lack of strength and control in them. When you sit, the hip flexors shorten, which in turn pulls the pelvis into an anterior tilt (picture your butt sticking out for likes on Instagram). This causes weak, dysfunctional hip flexors that no amount of stretching will ever cure. Don’t worry though. Today I’m going to show you how to strengthen your hip flexors so you can say good bye steel cables!!
WHY STRETCHING YOUR HIP FLEXORS WON’T CUT IT
For years we’ve been told that in order to counteract all of the sitting we do, we must constantly stretch our hip flexors. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work as well as we think it does.
If you try to stretch a muscle or tissue that is weak, the nervous system will feel threatened and in response will clamp down even harder to protect you.
I like to think of tight muscles like a chain on a necklace that gets all knotted up. My wife can attest to the fact there’s nothing worse than trying to get that thing out!
But what happens when you pull on the chain? The knot gets tighter, right? Well same goes for tight muscles. The more you stretch, the more your nervous system will lock it down.
So what’s the solution?
HOW TO UNLOCK YOUR HIP FLEXORS
Instead of going right into stretching your pissed off tissue, we must first strengthen it and then the nervous system will allow us to start to stretching it. So think of this hip flexor exercise as detangling the knot in your chain.
The simplest way to do this is with isometrics. Isometrics allow us to develop strength at a particular position without causing any inflammation. So if you have some tissue that’s a little angry, isometrics are your new best friend.
Watch the coaching video above for step-by-step instruction on how to unlock your hip flexors (without stretching).
You’re going to need something similar to a toothbrush holder. Other objects that work well are a thick magic marker or one of those massage sticks. Anything that’s just under an inch in diameter will work perfectly.
You’ll also want something firm to lay on. A hardwood floor works but try and stay away from plush carpeting.
HOW TO PROGRAM THIS INTO YOUR ROUTINE
I love doing this hip flexor exercise 2-3 times per week with at least one day in between. To start out, perform one round of 3x10 seconds like we did in the video above. To progress start to increase your time from 10, to 15, 20, 25, and eventually 30 seconds.
TAKE IT A STEP FURTHER
If you want to take it a step further, check out the link below where I share my 3 must-have mobility moves.
It includes the best exercise to help you actively stretch your hip flexors and is what I would do after you perform the hip flexor exercise above.
It's completely free, so check it out and enjoy unlocking your hip flexors!
ABOUT COACH MATT PIPPIN
Matt is a Strength and Mobility Coach with over 15 years experience in his field and has coached over a thousand professional, collegiate and everyday athletes with the goal to help them move, feel and perform at their highest level. He's incredibly passionate about bringing simple and effective online mobility training programs to everyone who wants to take control of their self care and make lasting change. CLICK HERE to learn more.
NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist
Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach
Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)
Level 1 Kinstretch Instructor
Weck Method Qualified