3 Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises To Add To Your Routine

Are Hip Flexors Your Weakest Link?


Do you think they have tight hip flexors from sitting for prolonged periods at a desk?

Let's exam what the hip flexors do so you can consider whether your hip flexors are tight, or just weak. Even if your hip flexors are tight, static stretching may not be the best alternative- especially if they are also weak.

The hip flexors are comprised of a group of muscles originating in the lumbar region of the back and hip girdle, which run down the femur. The pull the upper leg and trunk together.

The role of the hip flexors is to stabilize the pelvis and improve your gait. They serve as the connection that keeps the hips and low back together, which can help prevent excessive lumbar extension or flexion, and anterior or posterior pelvic tilt.

Since the primary job of this muscle group is to pull two bones toward a joint, when you are seated all day, the chair does their job.

When these muscles don't work the way they should, you may compensate with surrounding tissue, which can eventually lead to injury over time.

Regularly stretching the hip flexors don't resolve the problem and could weaken them more if you don't work on strength.

Strong hip flexors can improve speed, explosiveness, and strength in quad-dominant movements like squats and lunges.

 

The Fix

When you head to the gym, the last thing you think about is improving hip flexor strength. You want to dive right into the big 3, or hit a good cardio session. 

But working on the finer details in the body will render big results. With a little patience, you will strengthen the hip flexors in no time. This could lead to an improved run time, squat max, and overall assessment of your badassitude. 

These 3 exercises are ones I use regularly in my programs like Get Strong and Epic Ass. Try them out in your next workout. 

 

Hanging Ankle Weight Psoas March

 

 
 
 
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(This can be done with bodyweight or bands as well)

  1. Strap on your ankle weights and get into a active hang position on the bar.
  2. Brace the core and tuck the pelvis to neutral. 
  3. Draw one knee toward the chest, maintaining a stability position. No swinging or twisting. 
  4. Return back down and repeat on the other knee. 
  5. Repeat for reps on both sides. 

 

Resisted Straight Leg Lift 

 

 
 
 
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  1. Wrap a lightweight mini band around a dumbbell or kettlebell. Fix the loose end around the forefoot. 
  2. Straighten the working leg to full extension and hug the opposite knee. 
  3. Lift the leg from the floor, placing tension on the band. Hold for 2-3 seconds and release. Repeat for reps, then switch to the other side.  

PRI Yoga Block Passes

 

 
 
 
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  1. Place a yoga block or some other object on the floor toward the midfoot.
  2. Straighten the working leg to full extension and hug the opposite knee.
  3. Place the foot on the inside of the block.
  4. Lift the leg over the block to clear it. Repeat going the opposite way.
  5. Repeat for reps and switch to the other side. 

Putting It All Together

Now you have 3 moves to add to your weekly workouts. I recommend working in 1-2 of these exercises on your lower body days.

Go for 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps on each side. 


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