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Stop Stretching Your Hip Flexors - Try This Instead

carlsbad hippain physicaltherapy Jun 04, 2020

Why Your Hips Actually Feel ‘Tight’:

If you’ve done your research, you probably heard or read that stretching your hip flexor muscles is important.  If you’ve really done your research, you probably heard that tightness in your hip flexors can lead to back pain, knee pain, and poor posture.

 So it seems like we should all be doing more hip flexor stretching...right?


 This is one of the biggest mistakes we see people make when trying to see improvements in this area.  If you’ve spent time stretching, foam rolling, and massaging these muscles - but they continue to feel tight - you’re not alone.

Intuitively we would think that because a muscle feels tight, it needs to be stretched - right?  This just isn’t the case in reality though.  Weakness in the muscle group (and surrounding muscle groups) can cause a muscle to feel tight.  In these cases (which are far more common that you might think), the real solution is to strengthen these hip flexor muscles.

 If your hip flexors are in need of more strength, but you continue to stretch them, you’re not only going to see a lack of progress - but you also might be exaggerating the issue and further worsening it.

Now don’t just take our word for it - try these movements out below and see how you do.  The first video shows a quick self-test you can perform to see how your strength is.  The other exercises target strengthening the hip flexors (and surrounding hip and core muscles important for getting full improvement).  Try them out, and if they are challenging for you, it’s a sign you need some more STRENGTH in your life! 

 Here’s a quick test to see if your hip flexors might actually be weak: 

Supine Banded Hip Flexor March - 


Standing Banded Hip Flexor March - 

Bridge With Knee Hug - 

Hanging Knee Raises - 

Straight Leg Raise Liftovers -

Bonus: If you’re looking to address mobility in other important areas of your body, make sure to challenge yourself to a FREE 30 Day Mobility Challenge.


 If you’re still not getting the progress you want as you work towards your goals, or if you have pain or injury that you’re trying to work around, we can help! We help busy and active individuals live strong and confident lives.  We do this through comprehensive packages that include 1-on-1 in-person or virtual sessions sessions, remote exercise programming and mobility programming, and nutrition coaching that is customized to you.

Don’t wait to live your best life, we’d love to help you reach your goals and be a part of your transformation!

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Most people don’t know how to stay healthy and fit without getting hurt. At Inside Out Strength and Performance we provide a clear plan to get you in the best shape of your life, without getting injured, so that you can be active and confident that you’ll feel your best for years to come.

We help North County San Diego’s active adults and runners dealing with pain or injury get back to living a pain-free, strong, and confident life.

We are the Strength Docs who help active adults and runners live a strong, confident, and pain-free life. Fill out our contact form to get a clear plan and get started.

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