Any Good XT For the Hip Flexors? (Read 1907 times)

    The bane of my running, other than being old and non-Kenyan, seems to be my hip flexors.  It's the muscles right on the front of the pelvis -- about what your hands would cover if you put them in your jeans pockets.  That's the spot that tightens up after a few miles -- not painful, not run-ending, but tighter than anything else propelling me along.


    Can anyone suggest stuff to do that will strengthen/stretch/whatever that area?  Could it be an imbalance with the lower back muscles?  FWIW, I work a desk job and have the occasional slight lower-back ache.



    “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

      If you belong to a gym, there is a machine designed to strengthen the hip flexors.  It looks like this:




       ... except you would put your knee under the pad rather than over.


      Here are some bodyweight exercises. 


      Also, some high knee drills probably wouldn't hurt. 

      "Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.  Climb that goddamn mountain."

      Jack Kerouac

        Awesome, thanks!

        “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

        an amazing likeness

          I use a standard rubber training band (the type physical therapist and personal trainers give out like candy), and hook it over/around the ankle and pull up against the resistance.  Basically a knee lift against the resistance of the training band.

          If we lived in a world without tears...how would scars find skin to etch themselves into

          Prince of Fatness

            Yoga is another option.


            The King of Beasts

              I am not sure this is "cross-training" but: strides & steep trail running will help to keep them loose and strong.


              "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin' man I have chalked up many a mile. Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks, And I've learned much from both of their styles." ~ Jimmy Buffett


              "I don't see much sense in that," said Rabbit. "No," said Pooh humbly, "there isn't. But there was going to be when I began it. It's just that something happened to it along the way."”

                Spread Eagle Sit-ups:


                Start by lying on your back. Spread your legs and while keeping them straight, hook your feet on the vertical support beams of a power rack. Then perform a straight leg sit up. Keep your hammies on the floor. For more resistance hold a weight or dumbbell. If you don’t have a power rack, use the Smith Machine or the legs of a bench press to lock your feet in place. It's just like it sounds, a sit-up with legs flat on the floor - you'll pull yourself up with your hip flexors. 


                And I always do the kneeling hip flexor stretch post-run.


                  I'm also a fan of going to a chiropractor and getting adjusted.  I have back issues from a basketball injury and find that I often get issues when i get a little injured and then it starts pulling everything else out of wack when you are running/hobbling with an unnatural movement. 

                  2014 Goals:

                  Not destroy my back while running.


                    I second yoga!  Warrior poses in particular.  www.yogatoday.com has some great classes and you can find some that focus specifically on hip openers.

                      I have the same issues. For some reason in my early 20's they just decided to tighten up - to the point where they "snap" over my hip bone if I don't stretch properly. I have found two things that have helped immensely: Yoga - there are a few key positions, like Crow, that really stretch out that area. However, make sure you're warmed up or doing it in a heated room so you don't get injured.

                      The other thing that has been INSTRUMENTAL in dealing with hip flexor tightness and pain is a foam roller. They're cheap, you can get them at most sports stores or online, and there are a number of excercises you can do post-workout. The foam roller has been the single most useful thing in helping to work out my hip flexors.

                      Here's an article on rollers from my local running club: http://www.palmbeachroadrunners.com/docs/RollNowSoYouCanRunLater.pdf



                        If you belong to a gym, there is a machine designed to strengthen the hip flexors.  It looks like this:




                         ... except you would put your knee under the pad rather than over.


                        Here are some bodyweight exercises. 


                        Also, some high knee drills probably wouldn't hurt. 


                        +1  I used to have issues until I added this.  I also added  a machine that does groin flexing and abducting.  My hip and groin issues I suffered with for 6 months went away 2 weeks after starting these 3x a week.

                        Retired 1/1/13 

                          One thing I've found that helps with them is an exercise McMillan calls the metronome. 

                          It's where you lay on your back, arms straight out to the sides, with palms facing down. Legs straight and  bent 90 degrees at your  waist (basically, your feet are straight up in the air. Keep the small of your back on the ground as much as possible. Then, slowly lower your feet/legs first to the right side towards your right hand, then back up and down to the left side. Repeat for about 10 each side, or as many as you can do. 

                          I have all 3 stages of the McMillan core workout DVDs and this is one of the few exercises that is on each. He emphasizes how runners develop weak hips and how this exercise is great for the the core and the hips. 



                            I have them DVDs as well not done them in months ought to really get back to them and yes Runners particularly distance runners do seem to have weak hip flexors and glutes