Call Us: (802) 888-8888

Move of the Month – Hip Flexors

February 10, 2014

Provided by Copley Certified Athletic Trainer Vin Faraci, MS, ATC

Tightness of the hip flexors is a common problem. Copley Athletic Trainer Vin Faraci explains that hip flexors are a group of muscles located in the front of the hip. “These muscles tend to get tight because many of us spend our day in a sitting position, which shortens these muscles, allowing them to tighten over time,” says Faraci. Prolonged tightness of the hip flexors can contribute to low back pain, knee pain and bursitis of the hip.

Stretching will help lengthen the muscle. Faraci notes that stretching is more effective when performed after a light warm up. He suggests a brisk walk, light jog or a few minutes on a stationary bike. When stretching, the goal should be to hold the position for 20-30 seconds and performing 2-3 repetitions for both sides of the body. While performing these stretches you should feel a sensation of pressure, or light pulling. Stretching should not be painful. If you experience pain when stretching you are doing too much and you should back off on the intensity of the stretch.

Faraci offers the following examples for both kneeling and standing stretches:

Half Kneeling

  • Right foot flat on the floor in front of you
  • Left knee back ~4-6 inches
  • Press forward and down with your hips
  • Keep trunk upright but don’t arch your back
  • The stretch should be felt on the left side near the front pocket of your pants
  • Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds while performing 2-3 repetitions for each side of your body.

Standing

* In this version you can also use a second chair in front to help maintain balance.

  • Stand in front of a chair, bench about knee height.
  • Place a pillow on the chair.
  • Place your right lower leg and knee on the pillow
  • Left leg should be placed forward foot on the ground with knee slightly bent.
  • Press forward and down with your hips
  • Keep trunk upright but don’t arch your back
  • The stretch should be felt on the right side near the front pocket of your pants
  • Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds while performing 2-3 repetitions for each side of your body.
  • Stand in front of a chair, bench or step stool.
  • Place your left heel on the step.
  • Maintain good posture in your upper and lower back.
  • Place your hands on your lower leg.
  • Press forward at the waist until you feel stretching behind the left knee and thigh.
  • Do 2-3 times then repeat with your right heal on the step.

Faraci is a Certified Athletic Trainer at Copley Hospital. He provides both land based and aquatic orthopedic rehabilitation. Vin also works closely with area schools to ensure our student athletes are receiving the proper prevention and injury care to keep them on the slopes, fields and courts.