Do you have tight hip flexors?
This is a common problem, usually caused by excessive sitting down; like working a desk job.
When you’re sat down all day, your glutes shut off, no longer firing properly and this causes your hips to become unstable. Meanwhile the hip flexors are stuck in a shortened position all day long, and they lock down to compensate for the stability lacking from the butt muscles.
Now they’re tight, and simply stretching them won’t fix it. They’re often weak, and the glutes don’t fire properly to oppose them. So, we need to focus on strengthening both the glutes and hip flexors to get your hips working properly and protect you from injury.
Here’s four great exercises for tight hip flexors:
Hip lifts – Lay on the floor with your knees bent to 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your butt muscles, push your feet down into the floor and lift the hips into the air as high as you can. Make sure you keep your abs tight and back straight.
Single leg deadlift – Stand on one leg with a dumbbell in each hand. Extend the free leg backwards as you hinge at the hips, pushing the butt back. Your upper body should come down towards the floor, while your back is straight, and hips move backwards. Keep it slow and controlled, focusing on stability, and not twisting on the standing leg.
Reverse lunge – Hold a dumbbell in each hand and take a large step straight backwards with one leg. As your foot touches the ground bend both knees and control your body downwards, until the back knee touches the floor. Both knees should be bent at 90 degrees at this point. Now push through the heel of the front foot to stand back to legs parallel. Alternate legs as you go.
Rear foot elevated split squat – Place your back foot on a box or step, and front foot out at a comfortable distance. Bend the back knee straight down towards the floor, while keeping your chest tall and back straight. In the bottom position your back knee should be near the floor, and front knee bent to 90 degrees. Push back up through the front heel to the standing position.