What is the best way to perform a hip flexor stretch with a foam roller? This article will help you:
- First, show you how to stretch your hip flexor with a foam roller. I will demonstrate how to perform a few exercises that will help stretch your hip flexor muscles.
- Second, stretch your hip flexor without a foam roller. I will show you 2 simple wall and floor stretches that I do after every workout.
- Disclaimer: (please consult your physician or health professional before performing any mobility or stretching exercises). This article contains affiliate links.
- If you would like to know how to do a pec stretch on a foam roller, read this article.
As a triathlete, I have to spend a lot of time stretching and mobilizing nearly every part of my body. Swimming, biking, and running implements nearly every muscle in my body. From my ankles to my neck, I have a regular stretching and mobilizing routine that I follow after each workout or race.
Why the Hip Flexor is Important
That being said, one of most important parts of the body to mobilize and stretch is the hip area. There is a bunch of connective tissue in the hip area that helps us walk, stand, and just move during everyday activities. In the case of an athlete, there are greater demands placed on the hip flexor, buttocks, quadriceps, ligaments and tendons that attach to our pelvis and hip joint.
Recommendations for Stretch Hip Flexors with a Foam Roller
I highly recommend getting a physiotherapist or other health professional to help you get a more holistic view of what you can do to strengthen and mobilize your hip flexors and the surrounding hip area. This article is based on what I have learned through 20 years of having some of the tightest joints and muscles therapists, doctors, and other athletes have ever witnessed.
One of the best physiologists and mobility experts I have ever gleaned from is a guy named doctor named Kelly Starret. He is one of the leading mobility experts in the world and I highly recommend his books and videos on his blog, Mobility WOD.
Now it’s time for the stretches. They are very simple. Each will only take you less than a minute to perform.
Hip Flexor Stretch with a Foam Roller
When thinking of stretching your hip flexor, you want to focus on mobility and getting the entire muscle to relax and increase blood flow. My hip flexor stretch with a foam roller is really more like a rolling massage or trigger point therapy. The goal is to release tight muscle tissue so that it may relax and perform in a more efficient and functional manner.
As shown in the picture above,
- Place roller below your right pelvic bone.
- Use your left leg to help balance your lower body.
- Place your right hand on the floor to hold the position of your upper body.
- Roll your body from your pelvic bone to you hip bone.
- Perform this slowly and keep moving
- Rotate your pelvis towards the floor and away from the floor as you roll
- Continue for 3-5 minutes
The goal of this exercise is to release overly tightened tissue so that your muscles can relax and perform more fluid and supple motions. Unless your physician or healthcare professional informs you otherwise, try to perform this no more that 3 times a week. Everyone is different, so find what schedule works best for you. I try do this type of hip flexor stretch on a foam roller no more than once per week. The next exercise that helps release tight hip flexor tissue is more of traditional static stretch.
Hip Flexor Stretch without a Foam Roller
1. This is a static stretch that I perform after every workout I do. I stretches the hip flexor, the quad, and the tissue surrounding the IT band. This stretch helps alleviate knee pain associated with tight muscles that are improperly tightened around the knee. It also helps to open up your hips so that the tissue gets more circulation. I attribute being injury free for the past 12 months to this single stretch. Be sure to put a soft pad under your knee that makes contact with the floor and the wall.
- Find a wall
- Place right knee on the floor
- Then scoot right knee to the corner of the floor and the wall
- Place your left foot and leg in front of your torso
- Keep your left leg at a 90 degree angle
- Place your hands on your left leg for stabilization
- Push back up against the wall until you feel your back fully against the wall
- Hold the stretch from 50 – 80 seconds.
- Switch legs
- This stretch reaches the tendons, muscles and ligaments throughout the knee, quad, IT band and hip flexor.
2. This next stretch is one that most athletes have performed. It is very common but can also be overlooked.
- Sit on the floor with both legs in front of you
- Pull your right leg towards your chest.
- Place your right elbow over your right knee
- Place your left hand over your right elbow
- Keep your right knee pulled in and hold
- Keep your back as upright as possible
- Hold for 50 to 60 seconds
These 2 stretches and hip flexor stretch with a foam roller will help you stay supple and injury free.