Hip Flexors...

... does running make them tight?

13 messages
11/11/2003 at 15:20
I went to an abs class at the gym at lunchtime and some of the exercises really made my hip flexors ache - way before my stomach was even feeling tired.

It's kinda hard to describe which exercises they are... mainly the ones where you're raising and lowering your legs out straight while you're on your back, I think.

So what I want to know is whether this happens because my hip flexors are weak, or stiff or what? Is it likely that running would contribute to it? Should I be doing something about it (and if so what), or just stop worrying about it!

11/11/2003 at 16:05
Sounds like you need to stretch your hip flexors. Its a bit hard to explain but its like a calf stretch except you put the back leg further back and keep your heel off the floor then kind of tilt your pelvis forward/up. How does that feel? If it doesn't feel right, ask someone at the gym to show you.
11/11/2003 at 16:14
LL - I know exactly what you mean, as I tend to do that stretch sometimes after I get back from a run... er, just cos it feels kinda good, rather than actually realising what I was stretching!
11/11/2003 at 16:16
Sounds like you weren't doing the abs exercises right :o)
11/11/2003 at 16:39
i dont think i recognise that stretch - why not i should?

i am trying to picture it but its not working!
11/11/2003 at 16:42
That is an abs exercise I have come across before and in my experience it is best avoided if you have back problems.
BTW This is only my unprofessional opinion - I'm not qualified in this area, have just done a few classes over the years.
11/11/2003 at 16:43
Christ, they dont still make peeps do abs work with straight legs do they
Not good
11/11/2003 at 16:54
Ballini if its not working, don't do it. Get someone who knows what they're doing to show you properly. Its very difficult to explain things like this in words.
11/11/2003 at 16:54
Um, I think it's some sort of pilates type thing - raising and lowering your legs while they are straight... not actuallly doing sit-ups with straight legs.

Can't think of a better way to describe that stretch which LL mentioned though (if only we could draw piccies on here!!)
11/11/2003 at 16:58
Hi MT. I found the following quite good for this after a sports massage therapist burst out laughing at how tight my hip flexors were!


He advocates only holding the stretch for 2-3 seconds at a time and then repeating 10 times or so. Certainly does the trick for me and presumably our Paula since he is her physio.
11/11/2003 at 17:10
Thanks Chaos Just tried it. The diagram certainly helps. To me it feels more like a quads stretch though.
11/11/2003 at 17:30
It does do both quads and hip flexors as far as I can tell, but still seems to work quite nicely & far better than the usual standing up quad stretch. it's the abdomen/quad angle that really makes the difference as opposed to the shin/quad angle (if that makes any sense).
Incidentally I find I have to keep my core muscles realy well locked whilst doing it or my back twists quite uncomfortably.

Hope it helps anyway. the physio has stopped laughing :-)
11/11/2003 at 18:06
Glad to hear it worked - Chaos

The same technique can be used for any stretch - and for the hip flexors in particular try

a) a forward lunge stance - when you apply the stretch and relax it without moving your feet - experiment with your body position until you 'get the stretch'


b) a single leg squat - rear leg up on a chair behind you - front leg well far forward on the ground, bent down to 90 degrees...or lower Again hold and repeat for the 12x 2-3 secs

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