Video Series: Hip Flexibility
Over the next four weeks, we will be talking about assessing our hip flexibility and learning techniques to lengthen and strengthen the hip flexors and core muscles. By doing so, we aim to improve posture and reduce risk to lower back pain. The stretches and strengthening exercises can be beneficial for overall mobility, stability, and functional movement.
By incorporating these practices into your exercise routine, you may experience improved body mechanics and enhanced physical performance.
In this series:
Dead Bug Extensions
The Dead Bug Extension Exercises are performed by lying on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and arms extended up & opposite each ear. As you engage your core muscles, press your lower back into the floor to maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise. To begin the movement, slowly lower your right arm and left leg towards the floor while ensuring they remain just above the ground. Return to the starting position and then repeat the same motion on the opposite side, lowering your left arm and right leg. Keep alternating sides in a controlled manner, while focusing on keeping your core engaged and your spine in a neutral position.
Dead Bug Marching
To perform the Dead Bug Marching exercises, begin by lying down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, spaced hip-width apart. Position your arms alongside your body with palms facing down to provide stability. Engage your core muscles and lift one foot off the floor, bringing your knee towards your chest in a controlled manner. Gradually lower the lifted foot back to the floor and then repeat the same movement with the opposite leg. Continue alternating legs in a marching motion, ensuring you maintain a stable and neutral spine throughout the exercise. A variation is to extend your arms and place them opposite each ear. Perform the marching (mobility), with the arms stationary (stability).
Hip Flexor Stretch – with/wo Banded Cord
The Banded Hip Flexor Stretch is an effective exercise for stretching the hip flexor muscles. To perform this stretch, attach one end of a thick band to a post at hip height and insert your leg into the band, bringing it up to your hip. Step back to create tension in the band, then kneel down on the banded knee. Maintain a neutral pelvis and engage your glutes. Lean forward into the stretch for 5 seconds, return to the starting kneeling position, and repeat this motion 5-8 times. Switch to the other leg and repeat the exercise to promote flexibility and relieve tightness in the hip flexors.
Thomas Test for Hip Flexibility
The Thomas Test is a useful assessment technique to evaluate the flexibility and tightness of the hip flexor muscles. To perform this test, lie down on a flat surface, such as a sturdy table or bench, with both knees hugged towards your chest. Release one leg and let it hang down towards the floor while keeping the other knee hugged to your chest. As you do this, make sure your lower back remains flat against the surface, without any arching or lifting of the spine. Observe the position of the hanging leg: if it remains flat against the table or bench, it indicates flexible hip flexors. However, if the thigh of the hanging leg rises off the surface, it suggests tight hip flexor muscles. The Thomas Test can help identify any potential imbalances in the hip flexors and assist in tailoring an appropriate exercise or stretching routine to address any issues found.