Flexing Your Flexors: Part 2

This is Part 2 of a set of articles on hip stretches and exercises.  Check out Part 1.

The other day we discussed a growing awareness and change in approach toward hip exercises.  Hip Flexor Exercises need to be focused and concentrated.  It is difficult to work many muscle groups at the same time as the hips.  What some people have assumed is a workout for several muscle areas might not be as effective as people thought.  Considering that, we need to keep covering the exercises that are out there for your hips.

Hip Abduction
Hip Abductor Exercises often involve elastic bands.

Here are four more exercises that are relevant to the area:

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

While kneeling on your left knee and your toes down, bend your right knee with your leg stepped out in front of you and  your right foot flat on the floor.  Thrust your upper body and hips forward slightly.  At that point you should feel the pressure on your outward thigh.  At this point, you can do an arching stretch by extending your arms in the air and gently bending yourself back, then holding for half a minute.  Obviously, this stretch works just as well on the other side of your body, so switch up and keep your body in balance.

The Flexor Lunge

With one foot, let’s say the right, step forward and plant it firmly on the ground, lowering your body till you’ve got your opposite knee resting on the ground and your raised knee bent at a 90-degree angle.  Shift your midsection and your pelvis forward and hold for up to 20 seconds.

Standing Hip Flexor

Ever heard of a resistance band?  Good.  Use it.

There are a few kinds, for instance the ones above designed to be held.  With this exercise, you’ll want to anchor the band or chord to something strong to hold it down.  Assuming you can clip the other end to your ankle, stand straight up with the band tied behind you.  Keeping your left leg firm and body straight and stable, begin a careful running motion with your right leg.  Of course, you can switch legs for your next set.  This works the hips, quads and even the abs as running would.

Wall Flexor Stretch

With this one, you’ll want to rest on one knee with your back foot raised nearly to your buttocks and sort of “under”-kicking the wall behind you.  Make a 90-degree angle with your other leg.  Slightly push out your pelvis and hold for 20 seconds.  This will work well for your front hips and increase their mobility.

Basically: Quality Muscle Workout over Quantity

When working the hips, it’s hard to work other muscle groups at the same time.  The hips are difficult to target correctly, so it’s best to concentrate on them anyway.  This is just a sampling of some of the great workouts for that part of the body.  So if you’re used to sitting down all day long, this might be the most important new set of stretches you could work into your routine.

Check in for more on the hips, thighs and butt in the near future.  Stay loose people!

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