I am sure we’ve all heard this plenty of times before from our clients but, when I hear “my hip flexor are tight and they need to be stretched”, I’m thinking:
- What do you mean by ‘hip flexor’? Which hip flexor?
- Why do you hips feel so tight and when do you feel this tightness?
- Do you really need to stretch them?
- Are they being overloaded during postures or your exercise routine?
- Is there a way to improve your movement pattern to reduce this overload?
Read this article: http://www.raynersmale.com/blog/2016/5/17/illuminating-iliopsoas
What is important is to find the root cause of this “tight hip flexor”. We need to look at movement of entire lower quarter, and really even the whole body. How is mobility and motor control? Once we find the cause, we can often treat it with a combination of Manual Therapy and specific exercises. I often use McKenzie for repeated movements and TRX for motor control activities, but each person needs a specific program that starts with a solid assessment that goes beyond the “tight hip flexor”:
- Is it the hip, the low back, both, or something else?
- Is it really tight, or does it have increased tone?
- Is there good mobility and motor control in the lower quarter?