Hip Flexors continued

Earlier we began to explore the incredible number of muscles that are involved in our hip flexors. As a quick review 10 muscles make up our entire hip flexor and they all have incredibly important jobs in moving our hips. This week we will talk about how to stretch and strengthen the remaining muscles in order to allow your core work.  Try to remember that when you are doing core work and if you feel it in your hip flexors it is your bodies way of telling you that your core is not strong enough for that movement yet, or it needs a break before going back into it. Listening to our bodies is the best way to get stronger and activate the appropriate muscle groups. We talked extensively about our psoas and iliacus in the last post and how these two muscles can be the beginning of a lot of our problems with our hip flexors.  Today we are going to tackle the remaining muscles and how to both stretch and strengthen them.
Pectineus is responsible for adduction and rotation of the thigh but its main function is in hip flection.  Rectus femoris this in one of the four quadriceps muscles and is to flex the hip joint and extend at the knee.  Adductors (brevis, longus, magnus) primary movement is to pull the thigh medially, thigh flexion, and laterally rotate the thigh.  Sartorius flexes and laterally rotates the hip and flexes the knee joint.

With all of these muscles working together we can see how it could be easy to have them take over when doing core work because as a group they out number  our core muscles.  We can start to decrease these muscles presence in our attempt at core work by stretching these muscles first. By elongating the muscle before we do core work it allows the muscles of the hip flexor to relax and not be so quick to take over for the core, giving the core an opportunity to gain strength. When doing the stretches try to hold the stretch for 60 seconds.

Runner stretch
butterfly

Plank position bring one foot to outside of arm. Maintain level hips and press hips towards the ground.

sitting down feet are as close to your hips as you can get them gently press down with elbows. 

Camel pose
side laying quad stretch

Place hands on lower back to support it while leaning  back. Be aware of over arching through back this is NOT a back bend. 

Grab foot with hand and pull back lining your knees up with each other. 

standing frog

Place hands or arms on knees and gently press back. 

Now that we have stretched the hip flexor let’s start to build strength. Over time  we will be able to focus more and more on our core and use less and less hip flexors. Remember that it takes time and patience each time you will gain more strength and will be able to do these movements with ease. 

 

leg hold
Lunge

Raise your leg off the ground and hold  for 60 seconds per side. Keep your other foot on the ground and repeat on other side. 

Hold the lunge for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times on each leg. 

Mountain climber
leg raise

Pull your leg into your chest and hold for 30 seconds on each side. 

Pull your knee up to your chest and hold for 30 seconds on each side.

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