Posted August 20, 2019

How to Get Through “Tight” Hip Flexors

Today’s post is a quick hit on stuff you can do if you run into a common problem a lot of people find: tight hip flexors.

While “tight” can be a pretty broad term, it usually comes down to a couple key scenarios:

  1. The hip flexor muscles are working hard and get tired and sore
  2. The hip flexor muscles compensate for something else not working properly, and get tired and sore
  3. The hip flexor muscles are on all the time and never get a chance to relax, and then get tired and sore.

Here’s a quick outline for some ways to approach these concepts from an Instagram post I put up yesterday. Some big keys to consider are to make sure when ever you’re stretching the hip flexors, you feel the glutes contract, and make sure you’re bracing your abs to prevent sliding into low back extension instead of hip extension.

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TIGHT HIP FLEXORS AND NOT HAVING THEM ANYMORE! 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽 Hip flexors are commonly blamed for a lot of problems. Sore back? ✅ Soft glutes? ✅ Weak abs? ✅ Poor social life? ✅ Thinning hair? ✅ Let’s say you’re one of the sorry lot with a feeling of general tension in the front of your hips. Maybe you sit all day and then go run a fun 5k without ever feeling even a whisper of end range hip extension, but opt for the classic “almost repeatedly falling down for 20,000 steps oh god this is so fun” method of running. Plus you haven’t felt or trained ab muscles since “Chappelle’s Show” first aired. There’s a few muscles that could be getting jacked up in this scenario. Commonly, the hip flexors are a bundle of 2 muscles that pull the hip into flexion, but there’s also a few others that assist with this. They’re not important. What is important is to note that “stretching” a tight muscle typically means bringing it into the opposite end range of motion, which in this case is hip extension. One process that is often overlooked with most stretching protocols is the role of antagonistic contractions through reflexive inhibition. That’s a fancy way of saying if you get your glutes to contract, the hip flexors typically reduce how hard they’re contracting, so the entire series I’m showing you today is about getting the cheeks crispy so you can unglue the hip flexors. Just call me the baker cuz we’re making cakes!! 🎂 🍰 🧁 Starting with a simple posterior pelvic tilt to get into end range hip extension and feel some glute squeeze with your hip extension, we can progress through the following sequence as capable: 1. Split squat with glute focus 2. Rear foot elevated split squat to increase the stretch through the quads 3. TRX split squat iso holds to include some time under tension to increase sarcomeric stretch stress response 4. Double elevated split squat iso holds for an increased range of motion for further increases in stretch stress. Bonus points for adding in loading on these. You could hold dumbbells or kettlebells if you wanted, but t chains are just way more badass ⛓

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