Your hip flexors are made up of several major muscles that help you move around and perform simple daily activities like walking. Without your hip flexor muscles working properly it can cause a lot of discomfort and pain.
Hip Flexor Muscles
The most important muscle that makes up your hip flexor muscle is the psoas major. This muscle starts at the front of your pelvic bone and runs down to your hip joint. According to Hip Flexors Info, this muscle is responsible for helping you lift your legs when you walk or run.
Another muscle in your hip flexor that helps make your life a little easier is the illiacus muscle. This hip flexor muscle can be found right next to the psoas major muscle but it’s a lot smaller. This muscle is responsible for helping you bring your leg or knee forward when you walk.
It also has the task of lifting the upper portion of your torso upward. The illiacus and psoas major muscles both carry the bulk of responsibilities in your hip flexor so when you feel any pain in the area one of these 2 muscles are usually the problem.
The next muscle we’ll discuss is the rectus femoris. This hip flexor muscle is located around the quads. Its main function is to help you extend your leg while standing up.
Next we have the sartorius muscle which is thinner and longer than the other muscles in the hip flexor. It runs from your hip joint all the way down to your knee at the top of your thigh.
With the sartorius muscle you are able to rotate your legs, flex your knees, and maintain good hip flexion when you move. The main job of the sartorius is the support the movement of the other major hip flexor muscles like the psoas.
Finally, we have the tensor fasciae latae, which is mainly there to help stabilize the other muscles. Whenever you walk, run, and do other physical activities this muscle will help keep your legs and knees stabilized so you can have optimum balance.
Hip Flexor Stretches
When these muscles tighten up and begin causing problems it’s important to know how to fix the problem. Allowing these hip flexor muscles to become too tight will lead to several problems such as lower back pain, pain in the groin area, and weak glutes.
Each of these stretches work specific muscles inside your hip flexor. A couple of the best stretches for hip flexor muscles include:
Laying Down Stretch
The laying down stretch is great because it gently loosens up your hips. To do this hip flexor stretch properly do the following:
- Start off laying down flat on your back.
- Now inhale and exhale deeply and then raise one of your legs and place both your hands behind the knee.
- With your hands positioned behind the knee of the raised leg go ahead and push it towards your chest area until you start to feel the stretch.
- Hold this stretch for at least 15 seconds before releasing and returning to the starting position.
Now switch to the other leg and repeat the steps above.
The seated stretch is a little different from the laying down stretch but it does the same job. To do this seated hip flexor stretch do the following:
- First you’re going to want to get into a seated position on the ground. Make sure your legs are stretched out as you sit down.
- Now position your feet together. You want the soles of your feet to be touching.
- Next go ahead and force your knees outward and increase the pressure on the stretch by placing your hands on top of your feet and pushing down.
- Hold this stretch for at least 15 seconds before you release and return to the starting position.
Repeat the steps above at least 10 times for a few times each day for the best results.
As you can see there are several different muscles that make up your hip flexors and they each play an important role in helping live your life.
Continue performing the 2 stretches listed above to help prevent hip flexor tightness and loosen your hips when they do get a little tight.