Whether you’re an athlete or a regular person, you definitely rely on the muscles in your hips to help propel us throughout everything we do. Whether walking, sitting in bed, standing or even running, your hip muscles are incredibly important. That’s why you should be taking care of them, stretching them whenever possible to keep yourself strong and flexible. Here are some hip flexor exercises that you can use to strengthen your hip flexors.
Straight leg raise
This is one of the best muscle-building exercises that are easy and gentle on your hip flexors. It’s almost always part of a rehabilitation program after a lower-body injury, such as a hip or a pelvis injury. The only thing you’ll need for this is an exercise mat!
- Lie on your back on the floor with your legs and arms straight out.
- Bend your right knee 90 degrees, resting your right foot on the floor or exercise mat
- Using the quadricep muscles in your left leg, take a deep breath and then lift your left leg 45 degrees. Make sure to keep it straight.
- Hold for 5 seconds.
- Breathe out and lower the left leg to the floor.
- Repeat ten times and then switch legs.
Floor Sliding Mountain Climbers
This is a new take on the already challenging exercise Mountain Climbers. If done correctly, you’ll feel the burn in your hip flexors for days. This is a good exercise to target your core muscles as well as your hip flexors.
- Grab a pair of slide discs or furniture sliders. Put them on the floor.
- Get down in a plank position, putting your feet on the discs. Make sure your hands are on the floor, shoulder-width apart, and straight. Also, ensure that your back is flat and your body is a straight line down to your feet.
- Using your core muscles, slide your right knee up against your chest, ensuring it’s as close to your chest as possible while keeping your body in that same position.
- Return your leg to its original position.
- Switch legs, alternating each for 30 seconds.
Otherwise known as Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, the Pigeon pose is a yoga pose that allows you to target your psoas muscle by using your hip flexor muscles.
- Start out in the Downward-Facing Dog position or a tabletop position on all fours. Bringing your right knee to the front, place it in line with your right wrist. Your right ankle will be by your left wrist.
- Make sure your left leg is straight; slide your left leg back so that your toes are pointed and your heel is pointing up in the direction of the ceiling. You should be sitting but have a little bit of a bend to your waist.
- Press your hips to the ground.
- Moving your arms to the front, press your forearms on the floor and move your body so your head is on your arms. If you can’t do that, keep your upper body straight and lean forward as much as you can.
- Take five deep breaths.
- Push your body up with your hands, lifting your hips and moving your legs back so you’re on all fours.
- Do the pose again with your left leg.