Improving hip joint mobility
Exercise • • 1 minute to read • By INFS Faculty
Author- Asmita Shah
Many people have been working from home for several months, which forces them to sit for long periods of time. Sitting for long periods of time is the major reason for tight hip flexors.
While popular belief holds that tight muscles only matter to sportsmen or runners, that’s not the truth. It’s equally important for the general population as it can lead to a variety of issues in everyday life, including poor posture, limited range of motion, a protruding stomach, increases chances of injury, lower back pain, etc. As a result, developing hip mobility is essential for addressing hip problems, and minimizing the risk of injury. But for that, let’s understand what exactly tight hip flexors mean.
What is Flexion?
Flexion is when the angle between the two bones reduces. When a flexor muscle contracts, it pulls two bones together, causing the joint to bend. The hip flexors bring the bones of the leg and the bones of the hip or spine together at the hip joint.
When sitting for long hours, the iliopsoas, a major mover of the hip joint is in a flexed position and gets shortened which makes the hip flexors tight.
The Hip Flexor Muscle Group:
Hip flexors are a set of muscles located on the front top part of the thigh in the pelvic area that helps in the movement of the legs and trunk together. It helps in flexing of hip i.e bringing the knee closer to the chest. While taking a step, hip flexor muscles are used every time. They play an important role in maintaining the posture and keeping the posterior pelvic muscles in balance.
- Psoas Muscle
- Iliopsoas muscle
- Rectus femoris muscle
- Sartorius muscle
- Pectineus muscle
Causes of Tight hip flexors:
Postural Issues: Sedentary lifestyles or those who have sitting jobs develop tight hip flexor muscles because shortened muscles are unable to create as much power as muscles that are lengthened, which might cause functional issues. This creates a lumber hyperlordosis and anterior pelvic tilt.
Injuries : Athletic injuries t o the hip flexors have been reported in people who participate in a variety of sports. Poor posture, arthritis, overstretching, and overuse can create a hip flexor injury, which can limit movement.
Weak Core: A weak core is another factor that contributes to tight hip flexors. It causes the hip flexors to stabilize the spine and work extra hard to provide support.
Stretches for tight hip flexors:
- Active straight leg raises : Lie down on the back with both knees straight and vertical. Slowly lower the left leg to the ground while maintaining the vertical position of the right leg. Hold this posture for 5-10 seconds before repeating it on the opposite side.
- Pigeon pose : Begin in downward dog position. Bring the left knee forward and cross it forward in front of the right leg. Straighten the right leg back and lower the torso over the left leg. Hold this pose for 5-10 seconds and get back to the starting position. Repeat it with the other side as well.
- Butterfly stretch: Begin by sitting in a comfortable position. Bend the knees gently and press your feet' soles together. Place the hands on the ankles or shins, or interlace the fingers around the toe side of your feet. Broaden the chest and lengthen the spine. Pull your shoulders back and down.
Exercises to strengthen the hip flexors:
- Glute bridges
- Goblet Squats
- Low lunge
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