Did you know that when you are doing abdominal exercises such as leg raises, sit ups or bicycle crunches you are actually making use of your hip flexors? Here is some vital information about these muscles and a simple exercise that you can do anywhere.
There are two main hip flexor muscles, the Lliacus and the Psoas Major. They commonly are referred to as the Iliopsoas muscle. These muscles actually start at the pelvis and lower back and attach to your femur, the thighbone. Moving this muscle is usually referred to as a hip flexion.
The hips are often forgotten in our daily exercise routines but they play a major role in our stability. If we look at activities we do every day from walking to climbing stairs, and more intense activities like running and kicking we'll notice how much we actually use our hips. It is important to protect these muscles, particularly if you are suffering from hip and knee pains.
Here is a way you can exercise your hip flexor to improve its strength and flexibility:
Step one: Kneel down on the floor with your back straight.
Step two: Take your right leg and step forward while keeping your left knee on the floor. Put your hands on top of your right thigh.
Step three: Slide your back leg behind you until you feel a stretch. You should feel this stretch at the front of the hip muscles. If you are not feeling it you can also push your hip forward, keeping your body straight. Hold this for 10-12 seconds and then go on to the other leg.
This exercise is best used after doing abdominal exercise
and as a cool down. If you find that your hips get sore from various activities this may help to relieve some of the pain and stiffness.
Remember that it is also important not to work this muscle system too vigorously. There is a direct relation to the hip and the lower back and training the flexor has the potential to cause compression injuries to your lower back joints. Finally, always listen to your body and seek out advice from a medical professional before engaging in exercise.