The Hip Flexor stretch is a common exercise used in both gym and rehab settings. Personally I use it a lot in conjunction with many other movements, in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and sports-related injuries.
While it can be an excellent prescription for many individuals, it is very often performed wrong. Some simple queues to help make sure your technique is spot on are:
– Tighten your tummy
– Squeeze your bum (glutes) on the side being stretched
– Try not to arch through your lower back
– ‘Spread the ground’ with your feet
Once your form is correct you can play around with the angle of the stretch for even greater results. Because of the oblique orientation of the iliopsoas muscle (hip flexor) I find that adding a slight degree of rotation towards the opposite knee can allow for further lengthening of the muscle and a better all around stretch.
This stretch, when prescribed in conjunction with good strength-based rehab exercises, can help to improve reduced hip mobility. And improved hip mobility has strong links to decreasing low back and knee pain.
Give it a try and let us know how you get on.
Riain Casey, M.I.S.C.P.