Tight hip flexors are not fun!
The CORKSCREW HIP FLEXOR STRETCH:
We have all heard that your hip flexors can be the bane of a lot of orthopedic and joint issues, from the lower back to the knees to the feet.
The hip flexor GROUP: Psoas Major, Psoas Minor, Tensor Fascia Lata, Sartorius, Pectineus, and the Iliacus, are ALL involved in flexion of the hip so when you stretch them, you need to target them all.
Because the psoas major attaches to all aspects of the 5 lumbar (lower) vertebrae in your spine, it has profound influence on your lower back, upper back and pelvis. The others are also involved but as synergists.
The hip flexors can either:
- Flex the hip: Provided the lumbar spine is strong and stable and serves as an anchor point
- Shear the lumbar vertebrae forward: if the hip is the stable point
Can you see that if in either (or even in both) situations, the stable anchor points are unstable, there will be some joint irritation and inefficient movement.
How to perform the exercise:
- On one bent knee, thrust the bum forward but WITHOUT swaying the lower back…other leg at 90deg
- Lift both arms into the sky and really try and stretch upwards (as if lifting your t-shirt out of your pants)
- Turn left to right from the trunk WITHOUT moving the either knee or pelvis. In other words, if you had laser pointers coming out of your hips, make them always point forward
With this exercise, you are:
- Increasing mobility in your trunk
- Decompressing your back
- Stretching the hip flexor group and quadriceps
- Reinforcing the glutes
- Teaching a tall spine
Keep working at it and you will be able to increase mobility substantially with this exercise!