Today I’d like to introduce you to a few exercises to strengthen hip flexors.
I’m guessing that strengthening the hip flexors isn’t something that many people think about, and I know for many years that I didn’t.
However, following a lower spinal disc injury a number of years ago, it became blatantly obvious to me that I had extremely weak hip flexors (among other things too).
Another reason for me writing this article today is because of a recent conversation I had with a friend in the gym.
He’s really been suffering with tight hip flexors recently.
Even though he lifts some awesome numbers on the big lifts, plays football (soccer) on a regular basis, he feels that his performance is being hampered by a weakness in this area.
So, I wanted to share some of the simplest and easiest moves you could possibly imagine, but they are powerful enough to strengthen the hip flexors.
Exercises To Strengthen Hip Flexors
1. Get Up and Walk
The hips and hip flexors are far more important than we give them credit for.
They’re at the centre of our body and are crucial for a number of reasons.
The hips and hip flexors have an impact on how we feel, how we function on a daily basis, as well as how we perform in our workouts.
Now I don’t know about you, but even though I am extremely active in terms of the exercise and workouts I perform, I still spend the vast majority of my day sitting behind a desk.
So, I actually make a concerted effort to get up numerous times a day and walk around.
I’ll typically take a break every 30 minutes or so, and either go and make a coffee, walk up and down the stairs, or if the weather permits, just walk for a few minutes around my garden.
Sitting is probably one of the worst things we can do for the strength of both our hips and hips flexors, and yet for many of us this is how we spend the majority of our day.
I’m not saying the human body isn’t designed to incorporate sitting into our daily lives, but it is far more attuned to standing up or lying down.
Basically, keeping the body in a straight line.
I can quite easily spend 8-10 hours a day working at my desk, so I ensure that I get up and move around 20-30 times a day.
On most of these occasions I actually walk upstairs and come back down again.
It’s hardly strenuous, it only takes about 15-20 seconds, but the benefits are unbelievable when it comes to strengthening my hip flexors.
How many of you are sat at a desk every single day?
Or perhaps your job involves driving, whereby yet again you spend most of your time in a seated position.
If so, please take every opportunity available to simply get up and walk around for a few seconds.
2. Leg Swings
I find leg swings are absolutely amazing for loosening the entire hip area, as well as strengthening the hips and hip flexors as well.
Leg swings can be performed in any number of directions, although the most well-known is probably front to back.
Steady yourself by placing your left hand on something such as the back of a chair, or even against a wall would suffice, and then swing your right leg forward and back.
I often see people performing leg swings almost violently, as though they’re trying to launch a ball some 300ft into the air.
There really is no need.
Simply swing the leg forward to about waist height and then back behind you.
Then turn around, place your right hand against whatever you’re using to steady yourself and swing with your left leg.
You can also perform leg swings side-to-side, diagonally, whatever direction the hips allow.
You can even perform leg swings in the office environment, if unlike me you don’t work from home.
Okay, you may receive a few weird stares, but surely your colleagues will follow suit once they realise how beneficial leg swings are.
Weirdly enough, leg swings also benefit the non-swinging leg too.
As you stand on one leg and stabilise yourself, you’re actually strengthening both the hip and hip flexor on that side too.
Leg swings also happen to be one of the main go-to exercises in the Unlock Your Hip Flexors program that I have recently reviewed.
3. The Lunge or 90/90 Stretch
Another great exercise to strengthen the hip flexors is one that many of you may be familiar with.
This is the lunge stretch, which is often referred to as the 90/90 stretch.
Basically, both legs are bent at the knee so that your upper and lower leg are at 90 degrees to each other.
This stretch is typically used as a cool-down exercise at the end of your workout.
I know it’s definitely an exercise that I always perform once I’ve finished training.
With that said, there is nothing wrong with doing the lunge stretch at various times of the day.
You can make it more difficult by elevating the back leg, taking the knee off the floor, or even extending your arm overhead.
In fact, this is a fantastic way to active the psoas muscle (pronounced so-az).
The psoas muscle is the only muscle in the human body that connects the upper and lower body, so it’s obviously extremely important to keep this loose and strong.
The Myriad of Problems That Weak Hip Flexors Cause
I mentioned above that most of us don’t usually pay much attention to the hip flexors, but in truth this could be to your detriment.
I know I certainly paid the price for it.
Some of you may have experienced pain or tightness in the hip flexors, but the knock-on effect from this is pretty unbelievable.
In fact, it is said that the hip flexors can generally be the root cause for many conditions, including:
- Problems with sleep
- Digestive issues
- Circulatory issues
- Poor posture
- Problems with the immune system
- Feeling tired and sluggish during the day
- Discomfort when walking
- Joint pains in your legs, hips, or lower back
- Reduced sexual desire and performance
- A decline in sports or gym performance
So, if any of the above sounds familiar to you it could in fact be an issue with your hip flexors.
To be honest, nearly all of us suffer with tight hip flexors at one time or another, but very few of us realise the impact that this has on the body as a whole.
Personally, I have now realised that my weakness in this one area was affecting me in a number of ways.
Okay, the most obvious consequence of me having weak hip flexors was that I eventually succumbed to injury.
However, just going through the list of ailments and issues above I can definitely see other areas of my life that were suffering too.
What about you?
5 Advanced Stretches & Exercises to Strengthen Hip Flexors
There’s More to the Hip Flexors Than Static Stretching
I wanted to keep things very simple today when talking about exercises to strengthen hip flexors.
So, by ensuring that you perform some or all of the above exercises on a regular basis you should see dramatic improvements in the strength of your hip flexors.
However, I have noticed that many people are lost beyond performing a few static stretches when it comes to working the hip flexors.
Don’t get me wrong, completing static stretches, such as the lunge stretch I’ve mentioned here, will go a long way to improving this area of your body, but there’s far more to it than that.
Some other fantastic ways to strengthen your hip flexors include:
Dynamic stretching basically means that you are moving a joint through its entire range of motion.
With a static stretch you are simply stretching a muscle or joint and holding that position.
So, as an example, the lunge stretch is a static stretch, but actually performing lunges would be considered a dynamic stretch.
Dynamic stretching will eventually increase the range of motion around a joint, as well improved circulation around the same area.
Core Stability Exercises
It’s amazing to think how many core-based exercises actually activate the hip flexors.
However, if you think about it, one of the major functions on the hip flexors is to lift the knee and bring the thigh towards your midsection.
So, an exercise such as mountain climbers may generally be viewed as a cardio and core workout, but the hip flexors are definitely getting a lot of action here too.
Therefore, by performing certain exercises that require you to stabilise the core, you are certainly hitting the hip flexors as well.
I think the best way I can describe mobility in terms of fitness is that you have the ability to move your body naturally and freely.
In terms of the hip flexors, you are looking to perform exercises that target the hip joint in order to help it function at optimum levels.
In truth, I think we should all be performing hip flexor strengthening and stabilising exercises for at least 5-10 minutes a day.
The hip joint happens to be the largest joint in the body, the hips and hip flexors are located at the very centre of the body, and we now know that there is only one muscle that connects our “two halves”.
So, hopefully you’re starting to understand just how important the hip flexors are.
I did say this was going to be extremely simple and easy.
Therefore, I don’t see any reason why you cannot commit a few minutes a day to exercising the hip flexors.
As you can see, there are many ailments and conditions that are also in some way connected to weak hip flexors.
I’ve recently reviewed a program that concentrates solely on this area of the body.
It was created by the Critical Bench team, and I have reviewed many of their programs and products on this very website.
Pretty much everything they produce is awesome, and their hip flexor program is definitely one of their best.
So, please take this opportunity to check out my Unlock Your Hip Flexors Review.
Hi, I’m Partha, the founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I’m someone who’s been passionate about exercise and nutrition for more years than I care to remember. I’ve studied, researched, and honed my skills for a number of decades now. So, I’ve created this website to hopefully share my knowledge with you. Whether your goal is to lose weight, burn fat, get fitter, or build muscle and strength, I’ve got you covered.