Hip flexors are muscles that allow you to lift your knees. These muscles are necessary for walking, running, kicking, and any other activity that requires raising the knees. How do you strengthen your hip flexors? Strengthening these muscles is very simple, but it requires a little effort. Common exercises on how to improve your hip flexors include leg lifting and push-ups.
Anyone who does any type of physical activity could face a potential injury. Whether it is a type of periodic fasting, a technique for HIIT training, or techniques that increase your running speed.
Along with these, one of the most common problems is strained hip flexors. Quite a lot of people complain that they do not know how to stretch these muscles without avoiding lower back pain. So today we will talk about how to increase the elasticity of the hip flexors and special exercises for this muscle group.
Mistakes That Are Encountered When Strengthening The Hip Flexors
Let's start with the typical mistakes that are most often made when strengthening the hip flexors. The first mistake is to resort to strengthening these muscles much too frequently in the hope of obtaining a satisfactory result. Another bad mistake is to spend a lot of time strengthening the hip flexors in the wrong way.
Both the first and second methods, most likely, will not lead to the desired results. And this is due to the complexity of the anatomical structure of the hip flexors, which requires more close attention.
Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises
Isometric Balance Holding With A Resistance Band
Strengthening your hip flexors should be approached carefully. First, you should know that bad form using these exercises can lead to increased stiffness, provoking an anterior pelvic tilt. Also hard stretching of the hip flexors can lead to the muscles returning to their previous position or cause back pain.
When performing the isometric balance holding exercise with a resistance band, you improve your speed and hip flexor flexibility. All you have to do is put both feet inside a resistance band and lift one leg at a time into a 90 degree angle. It should look like your in a running pose. This is not an exercise on the muscles of the shoulders, so arm movements are not necessary here. All that is needed is to keep your leg raised with band for at least 15-30 seconds.
Doing push-ups are also essential in strengthening your hip flexors. The fact is that a weak press can lead to severe dysfunctions in your hip flexors. A weakened press hurts your ability to make twists, but it is also a threat to the loss of stability in your spine.
• Lie on the floor with your legs bent and arms crossed. Place your feet under a rack or something stable and take a deep breath.
• Starting from the chest, lift the body to the knees when it exhales. Keep the lower back on the floor until the end of the movement, and then straighten. Take a short break.
• Lower your torso so that the lower back first touches the floor. Pause again at the end.
• Continue this process, remembering to pause when you get up and down.
Back Leg Raises
This is also known as back leg lifting. This is an excellent initial exercise to strengthen the hip flexors.
- Lie on the stomach and straighten your legs.
- Without bending the knee, raise the leg and hold it in that position for several seconds.
- Then, slowly lower the leg to its original position.
- Before starting the exercise, make sure that you feel your gluteal muscles moving (they must be continuously tensed).
Front Leg Raises
This exercise is highly recommended for hip flexor strengthening.
- Lie on your back and straighten your legs.
- Raise your leg without bending the knee joint.
- Hold this position for 2-5 seconds, after lower your foot to its original position.
Supine Hip Flexor Activation
This stretch should be done in a doorway or against a couch, bed, or similar shaped object.
- Lie on your back with one leg stretched all the way out and completely straight. With the other leg placed firmly on the doorway or object in a 90 degree angle.
- Start to bring your knee(90 degree angled knee) towards your chest. This will lift the knee from the doorway or object.
- Make sure to keep your back and other leg completely straight.
- Hold this position for 3 seconds and then go back to your starting position.
- Do 5-7 reps with 2-3 sets
If you feel a bearable burning sensation, then you are doing an excellent job.
- Stand up straight, firmly press your legs to each other and straighten your back.
- Next, take a step forward with any foot, while bending it until a right angle is formed, with the knee of the other leg almost touching the floor.
- During the process, you will feel a muscle strain. After that, you will need to hold this position for about 5-10 seconds and then return to the starting position.
- Repeat this exercise about 14 times, but it can be less.
If the combination of the exercises above does not give the desired result, try to work harder on the abs and gluteal muscles to increase stabilization of the spine. It is advisable to use other exercises that focus on resistance to external force, such as bending or rotating the body under load. For gluteal muscles, the most appropriate exercises are the deadlift and gluteal bridge. Those exercises will help strengthen the lower back and boost the weakness of the press during movements. It is also a good idea to work with large weights or whatever your comfortable with.
While people may find it hard to work on their hip flexors, the exercises are straightforward. You need to do the exercises with correct form to achieve higher results. With the above tips on how to strengthen your hip flexors, your journey to hip flexors' strengthening won't be a problem at all. Just make sure that you do the exercises the right way.