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The hip flexors are one of many first areas we rush to stretch since they have an inclination to really feel tight extra typically than every other muscle group. The issue is, tightness can typically be confused for weak spot and while you stretch a weak muscle you might be solely making the issue worse. On this video, I’m going to indicate you methods to decide in case your hip flexors are tight or weak and the suitable strategy relying on these findings.
First we have to discuss a little bit bit about anatomy nonetheless. If in case you have ever had low again ache whereas doing ab exercises, then why the hip flexors are so vital. They originate on the lumbar vertebrae and may pull in your decrease again after they get tight. They will additionally wreak havoc elsewhere when weak. Figuring out whether or not or not you might be coping with a good or a weak hip flexor is essential.
To start out nonetheless, you need to perceive that the hip flexors will not be a single muscle group. As an alternative, there are 5 muscle tissues that contribute to the act of lifting the hip into flexion. Three of those (TFL, rectus femoris, and sartorius) originate on the degree of the hip and the iliac crest which signifies that they’re at a mechanical benefit to elevate the knee to the extent of the hip however are at a drawback to elevate them any greater. Two different muscle tissues nonetheless (the psoas and iliac) are discovered at the next origin and are able to lifting the hip previous ninety levels.
Understanding the distinction between these muscle tissues is a vital step in figuring out the correct plan of action when you do your assessments. Talking of the assessments, the very first thing you need to do is see you probably have a real tightness brought on by muscle shortening. To do that, you will carry out what known as a Thomas Check. Begin by sitting on the fringe of a bench or field along with your legs midway over the sting. Lean again and pull each legs into your chest and make sure to flatten the decrease again in opposition to the floor.
From right here, slowly drop one leg whereas tightly hugging the opposite to your chest. You need to observe two issues concerning the down leg. First, is the thigh able to making contact with the bench and second is the knee capable of bend and grasp freely at 80 or 90 levels of flexion. If you happen to discover that both of those shouldn’t be occurring then you’ll want to straighten your knee and see what occurs. If upon straightening you discover that the thigh goes all the way down to the floor, then your tight rectus femoris was what was retaining the leg up and also you’d need to stretch that. If the leg didn’t drop down even after straightening the leg then you might be coping with a good psoas or iliacus that would profit from stretching.
The bottom line is nonetheless, many instances the Thomas Check is regular however the hip nonetheless feels as if it ought to be stretched. That is often resulting from fatigue brought on by having a weak hip flexor. On this case, you need to proceed to testing your energy. You are able to do this by both hugging one knee to your chest whereas standing tall after which releasing it. If you happen to can maintain it above 90 levels however really feel a cramp within the outer hip, then you definately possible have a excessive hip flexor weak spot within the iliacus or psoas. If you happen to can’t maintain it there and the primary place you’ll be able to acquire management of the thigh is at 90 levels or decrease, then as soon as once more you possible have a weak spot.
Alternatively you’ll be able to place your foot on a flat floor excessive sufficient to put your knee at a beginning degree above the hip. From right here, elevate the foot whereas standing upright and see in case you can maintain it off the field for a minimum of 15 seconds with out the cramping mentioned earlier. If weak, you should use this because the train to strengthen it and may add resistance by putting a band round your foot or ankle.
Backside line is, it isn’t good to randomly stretch a muscle if you’re unsure whether it is truly tight within the first place. As an alternative, take a pair minutes and do just a few assessments to see what you might be actually coping with. If you need a whole step-by-step program for getting in one of the best form of your life with out overlooking something vital that different applications typically do, head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Coaching System.
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If you suffer from Anterior Pelvic Tilt, you definitely need to know which muscles to stretch and which to strengthen and I'll show you how in this video right here: https://youtu.be/K-CrEi0ymMg
Thank you! But what if we have BOTH tight and weak hip flexors?? Do we stretch and strengthen? And if so is it best to stretch after strengthening or before?
What if you see both weakness and tightness?
What if I can do both, my hip flexors are just fine ? If yes how should I maintain that healthy hip flexor
This helped a lot! I am very flexible so not the issues so I need to strengthen it. I have MS too so that complicates everything…lol.
Thank you! That was very helpful😊
Hey I was wondering if anyone in the comments could help me answer this question real fast. Im pretty new to stretching and working out in general but is the video saying not to stretch the hips at all (like for splits or general hip mobility) or can I still stretch them in conjunction with strengthening the muscle as well? Thank you!
Thank you so much for this information. I am in pain right now from doing those stretches when I really just needed to strengthen my gluteal muscles.
Jeff..always..and always give us the best explanation!!!
I think I have a weakness, but not this one… i can hold my knee above 90 easy, no problem, but doing clam shells and whatnot helps the issue immensely. It's just when I try to deep squat (bodyweight, just like, asian squat and sit), I get pretty sharp pain right in both hip sockets.
So helpful! I've been stretching my hip flexors a lot lately thinking I'm doing a good thing. Turns out I don't have a weakness but they're not tight either from these exercises. Will stop stretching them so much!
I've been rehabilitating really bad muscle imbalances in my legs for the better part of a year now. And while I've gained a lot of fundamental strength back, I'm still having nagging issues with my hip flexor feeling bad all of the time. This video helped me realize that I need to address some acute hip issues due to weakness before I can make more progress. You've probably saved me months of problems, so thank you.
Super informative video.
Thank you for the review!
Would hiking up hills help for strengthening ?
Well thann you. I think I finally found what's wrong with my hip. Gotta do these leg lifts
Yes, you want to strengthen your muscles, but you want to strengthen them through full ROM. If you cant at least get into the front splits your hip flexors are too tight. You can for example try the wide lunge or sofa stretch with weights for reps and rest in the stretch on the last rep. Same for the hamstrings. If you cant rest your upper body on your legs with straight legs you need to work on jefferson curls and/or romanian deadlifts. Its not like your muscles are either short and strong or weak and flexible. You can and should have strength through the full range of motion. And its actually neccesary to be strong in a certain ROM so your body gives you that ROM. My biggest pike gains came after I introduced the jefferson curl. My hamstrings and my hip flexors are both flexible and strong and I dont have trouble with any sort of pain.
This is THE best explanation I have ever heard for my issues! Thank you for your reliable content!
Fantastic video. I will now use this test. Still suffering massive pain in hip 21 months post hip resurfacing and feel like my physio’s are lost for ideas. Watching your video has made me question a few things. Thanks
You can also check for tight quads by putting a pillow under your knees and contracting the abs like doing a crunch. If you feel the outer thigh start to go rock hard then you know it's the quads.
I have neither but my physician put me on a routine where I stretch my hip flexors, cause I have anterior pelvic tilt.
Bro says don’t do this to almost everything.
Can do all of these tests just fine but still have slight pain in lower back
I have no trust in anything any of these anterior pelvic tilt guys say anymore. I see so many videos doing the same damn stretches and people saying they work but then a dozen or so videos saying that will break your spine.
I've done both tests and can do both fine … but I definitely have my hip flexors hurt first and quickly before my abs feel anything when doing boat pose or Russian twists or anything where I'm floating my legs. Lower back also hates sit ups. What else can I check?
What if I release the knee and can hold it, but experience some sharp lower pack pain (nerve pinch) when I do?
I hurt myself stretching my hip flexor and was so confused because I thought I was doing the right thing. Now I’m looking to strengthen my hip flexor. Thank you! Hopefully the pain goes away.
Why not strengthen and stretch? I never understood why educated people assume one has to be done over the other.
Wow, this has been the most direct, and made the most sense video I've watched and am really impressed. You know what's up. I definitely will test myself with these and progress accordingly. I'm so impressed I'm going to check out more of your videos and channel. Thanks a lot. I'm 54 and hate this back/hip flexor issue I've had since Jan and hate that I've gotten so weak last couple 3 years.
Ain't got no problems here. I'm quite often in a ball with my knees to my chest, and when I sleep I generally have one knee to my chest and the other leg straight down. I also employ essentially the same position during missionary sex.
Seems my hanging knee-raises double as a hip flexor exercise, that's nice.
Edit 2 months later: Ohhhh that's TRUE, that makes sense now. Thanks past me. I was wondering why my hip flexors and quads are very sufficiently flexible for Reverse Nordic Curls, and my sleeping position does surely go a long way to explaining that one. I sleep in a hip stretch position, and then when I'm on a chair I often sit on a foot, which is a quad stretch.
Some advice. Don't buy the iron plates. Get the bumper plates. Also buy a set. That's how the increments work.
You're always my go to for these sorts of issues. I want to fix the problems, not drown them out. Thanks again!
I get so much pain in my hip flexor when doing abs
Not me doing 5 different hip stretches and then watching this video and realizing I have weak hips🥺
you talk way too fast
One of the best trainers and training programs
And when the hip flexors hurt when doing the test for weakness?
When you mentioned stretching the hip and feeling better, but then feeling even worse than before an hour later that was an “ah ha” moment for me.
Thank you for this. This definitely was a helpful video
As always very informative content on how parts of the body work together, the main reason why I follow and listen to you, is because of you sharing knowledge about how the body works.