Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Hip flexor stretch on a roller, is a ‘feel good’ stretch that helps to counteract the effects of our increasingly sedentary habits.
Your hip flexors are also known as iliopsoas. They are a strong muscle group that originates at the front of your lumbar vertebrae and extend to your femur or thigh bone. They can get tight if you sit for prolonged periods.
If you do sit a lot, keep a foam roller in your office and perform your hip flexor stretch 2 or 3 times per day. Couple it will a starfish stretch and you will be on your way to improving your postural fitness.
- in supine lying, knees bent, feet and knees hip width apart,
- place roller horizontally under thighs, close to buttocks, with both palms placed at the ends of the roller.
- by pressing heels into the floor, lift buttocks off the floor (a bridging position) and move roller with your hands so that the roller rests under the sacrum ie above the coccyx, but below the lumbar spin (as pictured above)
- gently draw left knee towards the chest, using hands around the back of the left thigh to increase the stretch,
- lengthen the right leg along the floor, trying to straighten the right knee as much as possible,
- you should feel a moderately strong stretch at the top of the right thigh/in front of the right hip,
- hold for 20-30 seconds,
- bend right knee so that right foot is again flat on the floor,
- lower left foot back to the floor,
- repeat with right knee into the chest as per the steps above.
- there should be no back pain or discomfort,
- the roller should feel comfortable under the sacrum, if not, reposition,
- the stretch at the front of the hip should only be mild to moderate. Do not try to increase the stretch or hold for too long.
- if you like this exercise see 3 quick foam roller exercises.