Hip Flexor Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Hip Flexor Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo


Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo. Today I’m gonna
show you some stretches for your hip flexor muscles. The biggest hip flexor muscle is
your iliopsoas muscle. And it goes all the way up into your core. And sometimes if you’ve
heard of a tenderloin that you eat, that’s the animals iliopsoas. Let me show you how
to stretch that out. So the first stretch you want to get up into your lunge position.
The side that you want to stretch your knee is going to be down on the ground. And then
you’re gonna bring your other one up into about a 90 degree angle. You’re gonna be in
this position. You want your hips to be faced forward. So they’re not turned out to the
side, but facing forward. And you’re going to lunge forward with your knee and get that
stretch in that hip flexor. So again with the stretches, you want to hold it for 30
seconds, and then come back. Make sure your upper body is straight. You don’t want to
be leaned forward cause see then that’s not stretching your hip flexor. And you don’t
want to be leaned back because you don’t want to cause other injuries while you’re trying
to fix something else. So keep your back nice and straight, and lunge forward. The next
stretch, you’re gonna lie on your stomach, so this stretch is gonna require you to be
a little more flexible lying down on your stomach. You’re gonna grab your ankle, and
pull your leg up. You wanna make sure that your leg comes up off the ground. If it’s
not coming up off the ground, then you’re not really stretching those hip flexor muscles.
Also relax your neck, I’m lifting mine up so I can talk to you, but make sure you’re
not injuring something else while you’re trying to fix something. You can push your leg down
into your hand to help lift your leg up off the ground. And again, you want to hold it
for 30 seconds, and do that 3 times. The higher and higher you can go the better stretch that
you get. So the last stretch is gonna require a little bit of balance, so if you’re balance
is bad you probably don’t want to do this one. The injured side is gonna be off the
edge of the bed. And so you really want to get the hip part hanging off the bed. You’re
going to lie down and bring your opposite knee up towards your chest. And then just
let the injured side hang down of the ground. And that’s gonna stretch those hip flexors
all the way out. So same kind of thing you want to hold for 30 seconds, 3 times and if
it feels really good and you feel comfortable, you can just lie her for a minute or so. Just
really let it stretch out. Let this leg relax, don’t hold it up. If it hurts to go all the
way down, then you probably want to do the other stretches. Just lie right down and let
it relax and stretch out. Alright, there you have it. Those are your hip flexor stretches.
And if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section. And if you want
to check out some more videos, go to AskDoctorJo.com. So be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel
better soon!

56 comments on “Hip Flexor Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

  1. mikey g. Post author

    Hello dr.Jo i have a question everytime i get into a squat my hips start to feel as if knighs are striking me can u give me a stretch to cure the pain. Thank yo

    Reply
  2. AskDoctorJo Post author

    Are you able to do these stretches without pain? I have an inner thigh stretching video and a quad stretching video as well. Those might also help to loosen up your hips, but don't stretch into pain. Good luck!!

    Reply
  3. AskDoctorJo Post author

    I am going to try go get a specific hip flexor strengthening video out soon, but in the mean time, any exercises that bring your leg up towards your body will work. I have a straight leg raise exercise in my patellofemoral video if you want to check it out!! Good luck!!

    Reply
  4. kaboj14 Post author

    I hurt my hip about a month ago while running and I just thought it might have been some general muscle pain, but now it has become unbearable to run on. How do I get this thing to heal? And how long will it take? I have 8 important races next month

    Reply
  5. AskDoctorJo Post author

    Where are you feeling the pain? In the front of the hip, side, back? It could be several different things. It might possibly be a labral tear or it could be that your SI joint is out of alignment. Give me a little more info, and I will try to help you figure it out!!

    Reply
  6. kaboj14 Post author

    It is in the front of my hip and I can feel it in my quad too. When I bend over, that also triggers the pain.

    Reply
  7. AskDoctorJo Post author

    Do you ever feel a clicking or popping in your hip, or does it ever feel like it is catching? With anterior (front of hip) pain and pain with bending makes me still think it might be your labrum that is injured.

    Reply
  8. AskDoctorJo Post author

    I think that means it's time to go see a doctor. You might have a labral tear, and it will not just go away 🙁

    Reply
  9. AskDoctorJo Post author

    I am glad to hear that, but the clicking still makes me think something a little more is going on. Good luck!! I hope it gets better soon!!

    Reply
  10. jiujitsugrappler123 Post author

    Wow I just did these stretches and the pain from walking is almost gone. I strained my hip flexor from jiu jitsu this morning and I was wondering how long it takes to heal and how long I should stay off the mat.

    Reply
  11. AskDoctorJo Post author

    Glad the stretches are helping!! If it is just a strain, you will probably heal enough to get back on the mat in a week or two, but be careful not to re-injure it, complete healing takes about 4-6 weeks. Make sure you stretch before and after so the fibers that were torn will heal smoothly!! Good luck!!

    Reply
  12. AskDoctorJo Post author

    If the lordosis is specifically coming from tight hip flexors, they can. You might want to check out some of my back stretches and strengthening videos too. Often lordosis comes from a weak core in general, and strengthening your core will help it. Good luck!!

    Reply
  13. Donovan Duelly Post author

    Does working on this particular muscle help with sprint speed? What can I do to increase mine/?

    Reply
  14. AskDoctorJo Post author

    Yes! The hip flexors help pull your hips forward. This is very important in sprinting. You might want to look into agility training if you want to increase your speed. Good luck!!

    Reply
  15. AskDoctorJo Post author

    Thanks! I love loud socks!! Try to do them 2-3 times a day if the injury is something recent, but you can drop it down to 1-2 times a day if you have had the injury for awhile. Then once every other day when it starts feeling better!! Good luck!!

    Reply
  16. QUABLEDISTOCFICKLEPO Post author

    My problem with the hip flexor exercises I've tried, including yours, is that I don't feel anything when I do them, except sometimes in the upper front part of my thigh if I really press. In all other stretching exercises, I definitely feel that I'm stretching the desired part. Whether its hamstrings, quads, calves, piriformis, etc., I FEEL it, and if I press too hard, it can be uncomfortable, even painful if I overdo it With the hip flexor exercises, nothing. Shouldn't I feel something?

    Reply
  17. AskDoctorJo Post author

    The upper front part of the thigh is where the hip flexors attach. So that is where you should feel the stretch. If you aren't feeling the stretch, then you probably don't have tight hip flexors. Did you have an injury or are you just stretching to stay flexible? Also, make sure your upper body stays up right. If you are leaning forward with the stretch, you won't feel it as much. If you don't have back issues, try leaning back a little. That might help too.

    Reply
  18. QUABLEDISTOCFICKLEPO Post author

    The problem seems to be with the terminology. Is it common usage to call the upper thigh the hip? To me, thigh and hip are two separate things. It's very confusing and misleading when the words, "thigh" and "hip" are used interchangeably. It used to bother me that the same word, "hip" was used to describe the part below the waist and also the part that can get broken by a fall. Now, it seems, "hip" also means the upper thigh. Clearer and more precise terms need to be used. Thanks for promptness

    Reply
  19. QUABLEDISTOCFICKLEPO Post author

    Okay, I think I now understand. The exercise is to stretch the "hip flexors," not the hip, and the 'hip flexors" are attached to the upper part of the thigh. I now see that your title is "HIP FLEXOR stretches and exercises. You didn't say "hip stretches, so I was wrong. Good thing, too, since I've been trying many, many exercises to stretch my hips, but have never felt anything there. Now I know that the purpose is to stretch my HIP FLEXORS, not my hips. How would you do that, anyway?

    Reply
  20. QUABLEDISTOCFICKLEPO Post author

    Okay, I think I now understand. The exercise is to stretch the "hip flexors," not the hip, and the 'hip flexors" are attached to the upper part of the thigh. I now see that your title is "HIP FLEXOR stretches and exercises. You didn't say "hip stretches, so I was wrong. Good thing, too, since I've been trying many, many exercises to stretch my hips, but have never felt anything there. Now I know that the purpose is to stretch my HIP FLEXORS, not my hips. How would you do that, anyway?

    Reply
  21. AskDoctorJo Post author

    What do you mean specifically when you say stretch your hip? When you stretch something, you are stretching the muscles, not the joint. There are many muscles around the hip, including the hip flexors which is a general term for many muscles at the hip that help flex or bend it. When people refer to the hip, it is most likely their femur bone which sits in the acetabulum or pelvis. The femur bone is the thigh bone. So when people refer to the hip it is technically the thigh as well.

    Reply
  22. QUABLEDISTOCFICKLEPO Post author

    That's why I said, "How would you do that, anyway". I was just acknowledging that I hadn't really thought about what "stretching the hip" meant. However, now that I'm more aware of the issues involved, the next time I see the word "hip" I'll stop to consider the context before deciding what the writer was referring to. I'll never use that word for any part of the leg; except as in "broken hip," but I'll now be careful to remember the distinction between "hip flexors" and "hip" as in 36-24-36.

    Reply
  23. AskDoctorJo Post author

    LOL! Definitely. Well I hope you feel better soon! Stretching your IT band might also help stretch your "hip area" if you want to check that out. Good luck!!

    Reply
  24. AskDoctorJo Post author

    If you are stretching because of an injury, then I would stretch at least 2 times a day if you just had the injury. Once it starts feeling better, then after about 2 weeks, you can drop down to once a day until the pain goes away. I hope they help!! Good luck!!

    Reply
  25. AskDoctorJo Post author

    Are you keeping your upper body straight? Maybe try slightly leaning back…not a lot, but just to make sure you are not leaning forward. That might help.

    Reply
  26. AskDoctorJo Post author

    Thanks! I love crazy socks 🙂 Every day is fine and will definitely help. Once you start getting some relief, you can drop it down to 2-3 times a week!

    Reply
  27. AskDoctorJo Post author

    I do think you can get the numbness to go away with a consistent stretching and exercise routine. It really all depends on how much you are out of alignment if it will correct itself, but I definitely think you can manage the symptoms with only occasional flare ups!!

    Reply
  28. mj10013 Post author

    I thought i had tight hip flexors after I had pain in the hip area for a few months but After stretches the problem is still consistent.. I've had pain on and off for a year and 3 months.. starting to thinks its a hip labral tear?

    Reply
  29. Tom Kavanagh Post author

    i have hip problems and stretch, & exercise (cycle) every morning but still cant loosen up & it is extremely painful ……can cold & damp weather have an effect on your joints causing them to flare up and become painful ? Thanks for Reading !

    Reply
  30. Josh Garrett Post author

    I have heard that to avoid injury one should divide the stretches into ten-second sets, totaling 1-2 minutes. I currently have a glute injury that I have been dealing with for about four months, and I am searching for the best way to recovery and maintenance.

    Reply
  31. vernon atchison Post author

    Hey Dr Joe. Love your vedios. Really helped me with my knees so I have a question about hips.
    When I run between 15 and 25 miles I notice that my hips start to bother me. Is their any stretches I can do to help with this. .?

    Reply
  32. Exodus Post author

    Hello Dr Jo! I have a slight anterior pelvic tilt so I've been trying to stretch my hip flexors. However I never feel the stretch, I've even learnt how to flatten my back on the floor (I think this is posterior pelvic tilt) and although it has helped, I find it very difficult to maintain that pose while doing these stretches

    Either way, with or without flattening my back, I never feel the stretch in my thighs 🙁

    Reply
  33. coconut Post author

    I have a belly because I work long hours for work. Can you do a video to show exercises that are not too challenging ?  I am an older woman of 120 pounds, so I do not want exercises that are too difficult.  Is it okay?

    Reply
  34. Randy Beck Post author

    Hi doctor jo, I've watched a lot of the videos you've posted around hip flexors, IT band, quad, and knee pain. I seem to be having a combination of pain resulting from these different areas and I'm having a little trouble determining which to focus on. Maybe I target all three since they seemed tied together. When I do squats with just my body weight, I feel a discomfort at the top of my knee near where the quad connects. When I do situps with my feet locked in under a weight or even with just my heels planted into the ground, ill often feel a sharp alarming pull in my quad/hip flexors which usually signals a stop or rest for me. Last, my hip feels tight, particularly on the outside which seems to be IT band area. When I do the "4" stretch when lying on my back I feel a very deep and soothing stretch. The hip flexor stretch you recommend that's like a lounge when down on one knee feels good and usually stretching my quad feels good. These stretches seem to best target these areas but was wondering if there's something deeper similar to the "4" strech you have mentioned or any feedback you could provide may be helpful. I don't usually feel pain unless I'm working out like in examples provided above so normal every day walking is not a problem.

    Reply
  35. jawad ashraf Post author

    I have undergone core-decompression 5 years ago after AVN in femoral head , can I have these exercises to strengthen my Flexor muscles??

    Reply
  36. David Hey Post author

    I have pain when walking.The pain travels from my hip , and down the front of my thigh.Also this creates a weakness in the thigh. Any ideas?

    Reply
  37. hazen Post author

    Hey I’ve had glute and low back pain for 2 years but after these stretches I got immediate relief. Thanks a lot. How come I am experience tightness in glutes when I sit only due tight hip flexors.my mri and x Ray are clear.its been 4 days though . I still experience pain when I sit .How long to recover:)

    Reply

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