The Hip Flexor Stretch is one stretch we should all do everyday. Especially those who sit for long periods of time.
52 Tips for Health and Fitness Success Tip #10; Hip Flexor Stretch with A Healthy Life For Me.
For week ten of my 52 Tips for Health and Fitness Success Tip #10 where each week I write a post sharing health or fitness tip or tips that I find useful in my daily life; today I want to introduce you to a hip flexor stretch.
I know this is going to be shocking but my husband doesn’t listen to me. He complains about lower back pain all the time and I tell him again and again he needs to stretch out his hips everyday. He has went to the doctor and they have told him his spine is in good health, he has went to a chiropractor who told him to stretch, his trainer has told him to stretch and yes, his wife has told him to stretch. His answer to us all is “I do”. He doesn’t, stretching for five minutes a few days a week after your back is killing you is not stretching. In order to stretch a muscle, you have to lengthen the muscle and this takes time and commitment. The rewards are you move better, and you feel better.
Much of our lower back pain is caused from the muscles in the hip area. It really doesn’t matter if you are athletic, sedentary or somewhere in between when it comes to tight hip flexor muscles and back pain.
The reason the hips can cause lower back pain is mostly because of the Psoas major muscle (iliopsoas) which is the deepest hip flexor muscle and it is attached to your femur on the inside of your upper leg and then wraps around the inside of your pelvis and attaches to your vertebrae of the lumbar spine in the lower back.
What happens is this muscle becomes tight and gets into a shortened state, known as ‘locked short’. The shorten state can be caused by sitting for long periods of time (like bloggers working on their computer) or over exercising and not stretching properly, and almost everyone falls into one of these categories. Doing this stretch will also allow you to get a more restful sleep because the hip will be open and release the tightness in your lower back while laying down, letting your body open up and complete relax without shifting in your sleep to relieve the tightness. If you are a runner, having this muscle lengthen allows you better movement when picking up your leg to take a step, lengthening your stride.
So what does all that mean, we need to get up move around and stretch our hips and lengthen them everyday (yes, that means you my dear husband) EVERY DAY, before we feel uncomfortable and in pain.
How do we do it? There are several ways, but the basic, easiest stretch is Hip Flexor Stretch.
Kneeling, bring one leg forward, with your foot in front of your knee.
Slowly lean forward and push your pelvis down placing your hand on your leg for stability and lean forward shifting your body weight onto your front leg until you feel a stretch in the front of your hip. Keep your back straight and abdominal muscles tight. Hold for thirty seconds. Repeat sequence 3 times on each leg.
I promise if you do this daily or even on a regular basis BEFORE you are tight you will move better, sleep better and feel better. It is only three minutes out of your day, you can do it.