The hip flexors are responsible for lifting the leg at the hip. Functionally they help when advancing the leg during walking and running. When we sit they are put into a shortened position and when extending the hip they are put into a position of greater stretch.
Many of us sit for hours putting the hip flexors into shortened positions. Tightness in the hips may decrease the efficiency of how we perform activities such as walking and running.1,2
Static Hip Flexor Stretches
This stretch is to be performed as shown leaning the trunk forward until a mild pull or stretch is felt in the front of the hip. One study showed improvement in flexibility when this stretch was held for 10 sets of 30 second counts daily for 6 weeks.2 This may be more of an investment in time than some of us may be able to give. Performing 3 sets of 30 seconds most days of the week would likely be sufficient for improving tightness in the hip flexors.
This is a variation on the kneeling stretch which should help to minimize the stretch of the longer hip flexor (rectus femoris), while focusing more specifically on the shorter hip flexors. The stretch can be performed as shown leaning the trunk forward until a mild pull or stretch is felt in the front of the hip. Performing 3 sets of 30 second holds most days of the week should be beneficial for improving and maintaining flexibility in the hip flexors.