Sitting for an extended period of time can lead to overly-shortened and locked-up hip flexors, leaving you feeling stiff. Over time, you become vulnerable to injuries and various imbalances caused by misalignment. When we are sitting, the hip flexors stay in a contracted position and eventually get locked-up. Here are some of the symptoms of a locked or shortened hip flexor:
- You aren’t standing all the way straight (your posture is in a slight forward lean or you have a sway back because of an anteriorly tilted pelvis)
- Your hips feel stiff and/or tight
- You have lower back pain (this is often caused by tight hips).
- The muscles in the front of your hips feel tender to the touch and/or sore all the time
- You can’t freely move your hips when trying certain exercises like running, lunging, or cycling
5 Best Stretches to Unlock Your Hip Flexor
Hold each pose for 20 seconds and repeat three times per pose.
1. Runner’s Lunge
Stand on the right foot and take a big step back with the left foot. Touch the finger tips down to the floor on the inner part of the foot. Lower the hips forward in order to make a line from the shoulders to the foot. Switch sides and repeat once again.
2. Wall-Supported Standing Quad Stretch
Stand near a table or a wall for balance support. Bend the right knee and grab the right foot behind the body using the right hand. Pull the foot towards the butt and press the hips forward in order to create a line from the shoulder to the knee. Breathe deeply and repeat on the other side.
Note: The most important thing for this stretch is to press the hips forward and create a straight line in the front of your body.
3. Standing Frog Hip Stretch
Take a wide posture with the toes pointed outward. Take a squatting position, so that the thighs are parallel with the floor. Press the knees outward in order to stretch the hips and the inner thighs.
Note: Don’t round the lower back during the stretch. While the focus is on the inner thighs, it is recommended to keep a straight spine and a tight core.
4. Modified Camel Hip Stretch
Kneel on the floor, keeping the knees hips distance apart. Put the hands on the back on the hips and press forward while leaning back with the upper body.
Tip: This stretch can be done standing as well.
5. Side-Lying Quad Hip Stretch
Lie on the side and hold up the body with the bottom forearm, making sure you keep the bottom leg rested on the floor. Bend the knee of the top leg and grab the foot with the hand. Press the hips forward.
Hold this stretch for 20 seconds on each side, repeat three times.