Hip flexor muscles majorly include iliacus and psoas major, collectively known as the iliopsoas. Other muscles helping in hip flexion are the rectus femoris, sartorius, and tensor fascia lata(TFL).
The primary function of hip flexors is lifting your knee to your chest and bending at the hips. These muscles help you in walking and kicking. Tightness of hip flexors leads to the lower back and hip pain. Hip flexors stretch is helpful for people experiencing tightness in the hips. It is cardinal to improve flexibility, which is needed for any workout of the legs. Hip flexor stretches are particularly crucial for people with a sedentary lifestyle.
- Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch– Kneel with one knee on the ground and the other foot placed in front and knee bent at an angle of 90 degrees. Keep your upper body straight and place both of your hands on the knee in front of you for support. Lean forward slightly to deepen the stretch which is felt at the back leg. Hold for 15-20 seconds.
- Bridging-Start with supine lying with knees flexed together and pointing towards the ceiling. Keep your arms by your side with palms facing down. Inhale and push through your heels, lift your lower back and hips, so that the whole body from knees to shoulder is aligned in a slanting line. Your body must be resting on your upper back and shoulders. Hold for 10-15 seconds, repeat ten times.
- Heel Prop Stretch/ standing stretch– For this dynamic stretch, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knee, and bring your heel up toward your buttock such that the knee is pointing towards the floor. Hold your foot with the same side hand for 30 seconds. Repeat five times on each leg.
- Cobra Press Up– Lie on your stomach with elbows bent and hands by your shoulders. Press up onto your hands and lift your chest and abdomen off the floor. Extend through your hips and the whole spine. Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds and repeat five times.
- Supine stretch– Lie down along the edge of your bed with one leg hanging off the bed. Pull the other knee to your chest to straighten your back. Now, gently bend the hanging leg to increase the stretch across the thigh and front of the hip. Hold for 10 to 50 seconds, and repeat five times on each leg.
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