You stretch your hip flexors after every run/ bike ride/ gym session but you still have tight hips! Frustrating isn’t it?! The number one reason all this stretching isn’t making is a blind bit of difference is because your bum is weak! The gluteus maximus is the opposing muscle to your hip flexors (psoas), if glute max isn’t strong enough to open up the hips and oppose the hip flexors the hip flexors will never gain their length. This means they will always be in a shortened position because they will be doing the lions share in the hip department, shortened muscles equal tight muscles. The best exercises you can do to strengthen your glute max is squats, lunges and specific pilates moves such as prone squeeze and swimming legs.
There is another reason why your hip flexors are tight despite all the stretching, and that is because of modern living. We spend an awful lot of time sat down either at desks, in the car, or watching TV, when we are in a seated position the hip flexors are shortened which is when they become tight, the more time we spend seated the more shortened and tight the hip flexors get.
Tight hip flexors can be a cause of lower back pain due to the anterior tilt it puts on the pelvis. An excessive anterior tilt can cause compression in the lumbar discs, nerve damage and muscular imbalances. The best form of attack to prevent back problems caused by tight hip flexors is a combination of Pilates and Yoga. The hip flexors do need stretching but without strengthening the glutes, the stretching is worthless.
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