I bet that you probably guessed that the Hip Flexors are in the hip area, that you would be right. We will be exploring the topic: Where are your Hip Flexors, what muscles are involved with the Hip Flexors. Why the Hip Flexor Muscles might be of importance to that you, what seems to happen to our Hip Flexor Muscles as we gracefully mature. Therefore, the causes of some hip conditions and some exercises so, that to help that you stay away from the hip pain category.
The Hip Flexor Muscles
Lets set the scene. Pick up your leg and raise it at least to your waist with your knee bent. Okay, leg down. Now, bend your upper body over your waist line looking at your feet. During these two examples, we just used our Hip Flexor Muscles. Every muscle that just helped us perform these two demonstration positions is part of the Hip Flexor Muscle Group. You can see that there is a lot going on here as we move. Instead of trying to cover all this information. I am only going to cover the Hip Flexor Muscle Group.
- Tensor Fasciae Latae- This muscle group is a part of our upper leg muscle group but, also ties in with the glutes or buttock muscles. From our experience alone we can see the diversity of this particular muscle group. The primary purpose of the Tensor Fasciae Latae is to keep the pelvis in balance as we do all types off athletic movement.
- Iliopsoas- A combination of muscles known as the Iliacus muscles and the psoas muscle. These muscles when combined together join the upper body to the lower body. They are not only the biggest and strongest muscles in hip flexion, they are also responsible for some hip conditions we will look at later.
- Rectus Femoris- This muscle is part of our thigh muscle as well. It is a weaker muscle than the Iliopsoas muscles. The Rectus Femoris Muscles do play a part in the Hip Flexors, but they our better known for rotating the lower leg.
- Sartorius- This is a muscle that helps control the knee and the hip. The Sartorius Muscle is the longest muscle in the body. It is relatively weak though, that is why it is called a synergist muscle.
- Adductors-The Adductor Muscles are used as we move are thighs in and out or side to side. They also support our upper body as we perform these tasks. They help us with hip support and movement, so they are part of the team as well.
I Never look at them
I just looked at the latest edition of a muscle magazine and guess what? There was a picture of a man on the cover all flexed out (pose style). With big bulging arms, huge legs that looked more like tree trunks. Some rock solid abs, he had an eight pack. He had his outside muscles in top form, but what about the muscles we do not see. If that you ask some people at the gym. What muscle they are targeting or working on, that you probably will not hear my Hip Flexor Muscles. The sad truth is that we do not even think about these muscles until there is some pain in our hip. Then all of a sudden a light bulb comes on.
Do I Need To Worry?
We all know somebody with the belly folded over the belt issue. The good news is that they are probably not going to join your local sports team soon. The reason that I say this is with all that weight pulling on their spine and that muscle we talked about in there. I think that it is safe to say that Hip Flexor Muscle is hyper extended and not in good shape to protect itself. Here is another known fact: Our Hip Flexor Muscles actually shorten themselves if we sit a lot. Think about your normal day. What kind of position are that you in? How much or how little do that you sit? What about your posture?
A simple little test: Sit in a chair with both feet on floor and with good posture. Now, simply cross your legs figure four style. You should end up with an ankle just about at your other knee. Take notice of the knee in the air. Switch legs and take notice again. If one knee was higher than the other, that Hip Flexor Muscle Group is tighter than the other one.
I did want to mention that this comes into play as we age too. I do not want that you to think that if that you are not over weight or sit all day at work. That you do not have anything to worry about. These muscles seem to get more and more brittle as we mature. The absolute best thing we can do is to stretch and exercise these muscles.
The Healthy Way
Here are some stretches and exercises that will help us keep our Hip Flexor Muscles elongated and stronger.
- The Chair Hip Flexor Stretch- Sit in chair with feet firmly on floor, hands can brace side of chair. Simply lift one leg up straight out from hips. Hold for a five count then switch to other side and repeat three times.
- The Knee (or Lunge) Hip Flexor Stretch- Start with both knees on floor in the upright position. Then with a natural stride for that you place one foot down out in front of that you. Keeping knee over foot and hip over knee (good posture right). Now, using your muscles slowly thrust the bottom of your hips forward as to tilt the top of your hips backwards. Hold for a five count and repeat with other leg. Try three reps for each side. If that you are doing this correctly, that you will definitely feel this one. Those with balance issues do this stretch near wall.
- The Internal External Rotation Stretch- Lay on back with palms down-and-out about 45 degrees. Legs should be bent with knees-up and heels flat on floor. Let that you knees come to one side all the way to the floor if they will go that far and hold for a five count. Bring knees back up and over to the other side. Keeping your heels, shoulders, and much of your back as possible on the floor. Try this three to five times on each side. This might be a good move for that you to do before that you get out of bed.
- The Knee To Chest Stretch- Start by lying on your back, knees-up feet on the floor. Bring one knee to your chest, once that you get that straighten your other leg and leave at floor level. Hold for a five count and return legs to the starting position. Switch legs and go for three reps each side. If this gets to easy for that you. Do the exact same things but, bring knee to opposite shoulder.
Been There, Done That
I have learned a lot just by writing this information here, and I hope that you have as well. One thing that I forgot to mention is that these Hip Flexor Muscles can have a lot to do with lower back pain. I am saying that by helping these muscles that you could be helping your lower back. You do not want to end up walking hunched overlooking at the ground later on. I am here to help that you, so take advantage of this information that I am giving that you. I would get your questions or thoughts, please leave them below.