If you saw our last Facebook post there are so many benefits from stretching. Not only before and after a workout, but on a daily basis too. If you find yourself feeling quite tight and sore this can not only restrict you from giving it your all during a workout but can also possibly lead to injury if not taken care of properly. However, we understand not everyone knows what stretches to do in correspondence to where they are feeling tight and how to correctly perform them.
Therefore, we are introducing a new blog series of our favourite stretches where we will not only explain how to perform the stretch correctly and where you should be feeling it stretch, but we will also include some photos as well for your guidance.
First on our list is our good old hip flexors. The hip flexors are a group of muscles around the top of your thigh that connect your femur which is the largest bone in your body to the lower back, hips and groin.
There are many factors that can cause tightness in your Hip Flexors. However, the two common causes are when you perform lower body exercise and a sedentary lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle such as excessive sitting causes the muscles to deactivate becoming weaker and shorter. This shortening in the hip flexor muscles can then cause an anterior pelvic tilt in the pelvis. This forward tilt then causes an increased pull on the hamstrings causing tightness there also. Therefore, it is so important to stretch out these muscles to not only increase performance, prevent further increased tightness and pain but to also to prevent the tightening of other muscles.
Here is one of our favourite hip flexor stretches that has many options to further increase the depth of the stretch for extra tight muscles. Each of this stretches you should hold for at least 20-30 seconds and try to repeat them 2-3 times if you are feeling extra tight and sore.
Step 1: Make sure your hips are facing forward, your weight is neutral and your back toes aren't tucked under.
Step 2: You can now push your hips forward making sure you are squeezing and engaging your glutes with your knee in line with your heel. You can also reach upward with the opposite arm to the foot that is in front. By doing this you will feel a deeper stretch in your hip flexor and further up your side.
Step 3: This step shows you the same principle however by including the foam roller it allows you to get a deeper stretch.
Lastly, in Step 4 we are not only still targeting our hip flexors but also our quad muscle. This is a nice addition if you are feeling tight in your quad muscles also.