3 Steps to Unlock Your Hip Flexors
Movement of the Month | October 2017
The hip flexors consist of multiple muscle groups ranging from the psoas and iliacus to the glutes, adductors, quads, and sartorious. The following stretches will specifically target iliacus, psoas, and quads including surrounding fascial networks.
Place your forearm down in-line with your left hip to allow for right hip extension. Inhale your top arm up next to your ear as you slowly rotate your torso and pull through using your top arm next to your down arm like a swim stroke with an exhale. Create space from your right thigh to your ribs. Breathing with hip extension and torso rotation is the key to unlocking stuck psoas and iliacus muscle groups.
Begin in a lunge and inhale your arm up next to your ear using your core to move your hips deeper into hip extension. Try side-bending and using rotational patterns with your torso to free deep fascial restrictions. Remember to stay tall and breathe into the area you are stretching. Don’t be afraid to move your hips around in circular patterns just like you’re using a hula hoop!
Next, only if attainable without overusing the hamstring muscles, grab your back foot by bending your knee. Maintain a strong core without hyperextending your lower back. Use the same arm movements as in Step 2 as you release further into the lunge. A wall is also a great tool here for the back foot to rest upon. Make sure to breathe and try contracting your glutes on the side you’re stretching for 2 seconds on then 4 seconds off to further the stretch. This stretch will emphasize the entire chain of myofascial tissue spanning from the quads to the ribs and is my go-to to unlock the hip flexors.
Tyler Kragerud is a certified fascial stretch therapist, yoga practitioner, trainer, and bodyworker who loves showing others how to move pain-free with ease.