Tight hip flexors is a problem that a lot of people don’t realize they have. People who suffer from hip flexor tightness will experience problems like lower back pain, loss of flexibility, and reduced range of motion.
The worse of all is anterior pelvic tilt which causes your hips to tilt forward causing you to be off-balanced and walk awkwardly. If you aren’t familiar with tight hip flexors then you’ll think these issues mentioned above are occurring on their own.
Tight Hip Flexors
Your hip flexors play an important role in the way you walk, run, and even how you stand. Without your hip flexors working properly you’re liable to fall over while standing up.
The main muscles that make up your hip flexors are the rectus femoris, psoas, sartorius, and the iliacus muscles. The most powerful of all hip flexor muscles is the iliopsoas which helps mostly with helping you keep your balance while you walk or run.
When one or more of these muscles become strained or injured it can cause various issues that are usually very painful. The main way your hip flexors become strained or injured is when they tighten up and you try to make a sudden movement that stretches them out dangerously.
The main cause of tight hip flexors can be attributed to sitting around all day and not getting up to stretch your legs every now and then. When your hip flexors tighten up you’ll know it because as soon as you get up out your chair you’ll feel it in your hips and surrounding areas.
There are various symptoms of tight hip flexors you can look out for to help determine if there’s a problem. Some of the most common tight hip flexor symptoms include:
- Sharp pain in your hip or pelvis area.
- Cramping in and around your hip flexor muscles.
- Weakened groin and hip flexor muscles that makes it feel as if you’re dragging your feet while walking.
- You don’t have the same mobility or range of motion you once had while walking or running.
- You notice bruising or inflammation around your hips or thighs.
- Your lower back feels stiff and it’s hard for you to bend over.
All of these symptoms listed above could be the result of another problem because they’re so similar. The best way to really know for sure if your hip flexors are too tight is to do the Thomas Test. The Thomas Test works by determining whether the angle of your hips is off when you perform certain movements.
Other than the Thomas Test the best way to determine whether or not you have tight hips is to get a diagnostic by a qualified physical therapist. Your therapist will be able to tell you if your hips are indeed too tight by doing a series of tests on you.
Hip Flexor Exercises
The exercises listed below will help you loosen your hips so you can return to your normal daily activities without being in pain.
The first exercise will require you to use some training bands.
- First place the band on a solid object and loop the other side over your thigh.
- Next go ahead and push upward against the band to stretch your hip flexors out.
Doing this exercise band stretch daily will help unlock your hip flexor muscles over time.
Another great exercise to help loosen up your tight hip flexors are lunges. This simple exercise works all the major muscles in your hip flexors until they don’t feel as tight anymore.
- To do the lunge get in standing position.
- Now take a step forward and bend the knee in front of you while keeping your back upright and your head facing forward.
- Now dip down until your back knee is almost touching the ground and the knee in front of you is at a 90 degree angle.
- Hold this position for at least 10 seconds and then release and return to the starting position.
Switch legs and repeat for about 10 to 15 reps each day.
These 2 exercises are a great way to get relief from tight hip flexors. When your hips loosen up you’ll notice your entire body begins functioning properly.