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The kneeling hip flexor stretch
Continuing Education1 Credit

Hip Flexor: Release and Lengthening

Knowing hip flexor release and lengthening techniques can reduce hip pain, lower back pain, etc., and improve fitness performance.

Course Description: Hip Flexor Release and Lengthening

This course describes hip flexor release and lengthening, commonly referred to as hip flexor foam rolling, hip flexor release with ball, hip flexor stretching, and hip flexor mobility techniques. Although terms like tight muscle, muscle tightness, tight hips, and tight hip flexors are commonly used, it may be more accurate to label these muscles as prone to over-activity (e.g. hypertonic, phasic). Performing hip flexor release and lengthening techniques to increase mobility prior to activation, integration, and strengthening techniques may significantly enhance rehabilitation and performance programs. In practice, the release of the tensor fascia latae (TFL), vastus lateralis, rectus femoris, and adductors, mobilizing the hip joint, and integrating a kneeling hip flexor stretch, active hip flexor stretch, and/or standing adductor stretch, is likely to improve hip mobility and improve the effectiveness of exercises like gluteus medius clams, glute bridges, deadlift touchdowns, etc. Hip flexor over-activity has been correlated with altered lower extremity alignment, an anterior pelvic tilt, lower crossed syndrome, loss of hip flexor strength, loss of hip extensor strength, low back pain, groin pain, hip pain, knee pain, an increased risk of future injury, and a loss of sports performance. Sports medicine professionals (personal trainers, fitness instructors, physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, etc.) should add these exercises to their repertoire to improve the outcomes of their integrated exercise programs and therapeutic (rehabilitation) interventions.

Release Techniques

Joint Mobilization Techniques

Following release techniques, but before lengthening techniques, it may be beneficial to perform Self-administered Joint mobilization Techniques: Lower Body .

Lengthening Techniques

The kneeling hip flexor stretch
Caption: The kneeling hip flexor stretch

Introduction to Hip Flexor Release & Lengthening

Research Corner: Hip Flexor Release

Techniques & Progressions for Hip Flexor Release and Stretching

Hip Flexor Muscle Release Techniques

Tensor Fascia Latae

Gluteus Minimus

Vastus Lateralis

Stretching Techniques

Hip Flexors

Sample Hip Mobility Program and Progressions


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