11 May Hip Flexor Shenanigans: What the Hell Do We Do With the Hip Flexors?
Every day, I ponder several things.
Why is the grass green?
Is the moon made out of Swiss cheese?
Why do people spend money on organic food?
Why was $10 billion spent on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and not solving world hunger?
Will I meet Aragorn in real life?
Out of all of life’s mysteries, the one that stumps me the most is what the hell do we do with the hip flexors?
Should we stretch them? Should we activate them? Should we ignore them? Should we say “fuck it” and get drunk?
I’ll be honest: I’m a strength coach still trying to figure out these hip flexor shenanigans.
Normally, the default with the hip flexors is stretching them.
I’d argue the hip flexors appear “tight” due to a weak core. One way to tell if this is the case is to perform band resisted mountain climbers. If your client or athlete is rounding their back, you may need to address core and psoas activation.
Or, if they’re doing this…
Give them the green light and a fist pump.
In lieu of strengthening the hip flexors, here are a few other exercises to try:
What I like about these is they incorporate co-activation of the core and entire lumbo-pelvic region. The sartorius and psoas act isometrically to stabilize the lumbo-pelvic hip complex and help reduce chance of knee injury. Concentrically, they accelerate hip flexion for sport specific actions like accelerating, running at top speeds, and shooting.
So before you over stretch these muscles, perhaps it’s in your best interest to strengthen them.