Tightness and pain in hip flexor muscles are often accompanied by tight hamstrings. Undue strain is put on the lower back causing pain there as well. In addition, tight flexors can result in an anterior pelvic tilt, in which the front of your pelvis is pulled forward from your spine and out of alignment. Lower back pain is one of the first symptoms.
“A chronic state of shortening can lead to an increased anterior pelvic tilt which is very harmful to the discs, especially within the L5-S1 region [lower back]. A tight iliacus muscle (part of the iliopsoas) also corresponds to a tight psoas,” writes Low Back Pain Program. (1)
In the context of muscle fitness, strong hip flexors are crucial to abdominal and glute muscle flexibility, strength, and form. Even more importantly, fit and flexible hip flexors enable proper posture and wide ranges of mobility of the back, hips, and legs. For those looking to lose weight and reduce body fat, the importance of healthy core muscles cannot be overstated.
Tight hip flexors pull your posture out of whack, affecting every part of your body from your head to your feet. Healthy hips and hip flexion are a vital part of a healthy body.
“Restrictions in hip joint mobility can not only cause hip pain, but also affect the back and knee by changing the mechanics of how they move. Tightness of the hip flexors located at the front of the hip can affect the position of the low back and sacroiliac joints and how they function in relation to each other,” writes the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Rehabilitation (2)
Over time, this strain on the hips, back, and neck will take its toll and you can experience chronic pain from muscle, fascia, and nerve constriction. (3, 4) Tingling, numbness, loss of muscle strength, and limited range of mobility can follow. That why it’s important to stretch your hip flexors every day if you work in an office or run regularly. These hip flexor exercises will help relieve tightness, and support your fitness and weight loss journeys.
12 Hip Flexor Muscle Stretches
Given how important these invisible muscles are and how a complete lifestyle change is beyond the realm of possibility for most of us, it’s important to remember to include hip strengthening exercises in our workout regimes. At work, we may have to sit more than we would like so a little extra consideration can alleviate or avoid hip flexor pain.
Following are some exercises designed specifically to show you how to unlock your hips. Add these to your regular stretch routine for best results.