An essential warm-up and cool-down exercise, the kneeling hip flexor stretch will also do wonders for your posture. Our first tutorial this month will cover the basics of how to perform this exercise correctly and how it can increase your mobility and flexibility.
The kneeling hip flexor stretch
is an essential warm-up and cool-down exercise for the hip flexor
Short/tight hip flexor muscles can contribute to low
back pain; therefore, it’s essential to stretch these muscles to maintain
healthy posture regularly.
Kneel on a mat with both knees, then place one foot forward so that you have a 90-degree angle at the hip and knee. Place your hands on the front knee for support (if needed). This is the start position of the kneeling hip flexor stretch.
Keeping the torso upright, slowly lean forward until you feel a comfortable stretch through the groin and top of the thigh (rear leg).
Move slowly back and forth 5-10 times, or maintain a hold for 30 seconds.
Many exercises and sport-specific movements require an optimal range of motion and control in hip extension. Short/tight hip flexors can inhibit the ability to extend the hip. Unfortunately, many individuals attempt to override this by strengthening the glutes and hamstrings; however, this does little to improve hip extension.
The best approach to reactivating and developing hip extension is to release and restore length to the hip flexors. Often a simple stretch of the hip flexors, immediately followed by hip extension exercises, can be enough to break the cycle of inhibition. When performed regularly, you will slowly begin to regain full hip mobility.
To get the most out of the kneeling hip flexor stretch, try the following modification: get into the start position as described above. Now engage the abdominals and tighten the rear glute – both these actions will fix the pelvis in a posterior tilt, which will maximise the stretch. In fact, you may already feel the hip flexors stretching – if you do, then hold this position for 30 seconds. If you want more stretch, keep the abdominals and glute tight as you lean forward slightly. Find a comfortable position and hold for 30 seconds.
This is how you perform kneeling hip flexor stretch. Here are some of our tutorials: