Today's blog post is specially aimed at runners, but also any other sport which requires repetitive hip flexion movement. It is in fact very relevant if you don't do that much sport or exercise at all, but sit down for a good 8 hours a day in your job! So actually that means that a lot of people might find today's post helpful, and that it can possibly give you a few ideas of what can be done to try and counterbalance all the daily shortening of the hipflexors a lot of us are exposed in our day to day lives.
Why is it so important?
The hipflexors job is to flex the hip and keep our pelvis in a stable position. Unless we do something to try and change the constant shortening of the hip muscles, you can end up with your pelvis in an anteriorly tilted position. This means that when you go running it will eventually lead to shorter stride length as you will struggle to get full extension of your hip- due to the glut and hamstrings muscles unable to work properly to extend your hip. This can lead to several different problems further down the chain, but a lot of the times the calf muscles ends up over-working and can lead to frustrating problems such as shin splints and Achilles injuries to name a few. And also more importantly your performance and speed will be reduced as you are not able to utilise the biggest muscles in your lower body to produce power.
That was the why part of why we should do it - now I will show a few examples of what you can do to improve it. First we start with a way to mobilise and open up the hip before your activity:
Then the next video and photo is two other ways to stretch the hip following a session or even as a separate recovery/mobility session. I prefer to do the stretching as separate sessions or after an easy training session in order to hold the stretch for longer - 45 secs per muscle group, but always make sure you are warm prior to doing any stretching.
Sorry about the extremely serious look, I am concentrating hard!Not the most flexible person in the world myself, but working on it!
Give them all a go and see how you get on!