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Tight Hip Flexor Stretching

Quick Relief After Too Much Sitting!

Posted by Fitness_Oriented - May 6th, 2015

What is up Herman Nation!  My name is Jeff Oriente from the YouTube channel “Fitness Oriented” and I’m here to “Orient Your Fitness In The Right Direction!”


I got some great stretching advice for y’all today that likely applies to just about EVERYONE reading this.  I know this stretching advice is going to help you guys out because I am positive that the vast majority of you guys reading this are sitting on your butt for HOURS a day. 


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The problem with spending so much time sitting is that not only do certain muscles get weak, like your abs and glutes, but certain muscles get very tight as well.  The muscles I am talking about that get ESPECIALLY tight with sitting are your hip flexor muscles. 


In this article when I talk about your hip flexor muscles, the 2 muscles I’m primarily talking about are your Rectus Femoris and Iliopsoas (I’ll go into more detail on each one shortly).  


When you contract your hip flexor muscles, they bring your thigh CLOSER to your body.  So they are obviously valuable in performing actions like walking and running.  HOWEVER, think of the position your thighs are in when you are sitting for hours a day!  When you sit, your thighs are constantly flexed.

Being in a constantly flexed position makes your hip flexors especially tight.  So, although this may not seem like a big deal, it is certainly no laughing matterImage title

As you’ll shortly understand why, when your Rectus Femoris muscle and Iliopsoas become tight from sitting too much, this can lead to back pain.  When either of these muscles are tight, they can lead to an excessive forward curve, or lordosis of your spine.  This can then lead to compression in your back, which will cause pain.

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Because both your Rectus Femoris and Iliopsoas can become tight from sitting too much, it’s a VERY good idea to stretch them.  Let’s talk about that now!


How & Why To Stretch The Rectus Femoris


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The Rectus Femoris muscle, as seen above, is the only Quadricep muscle to travel past your hip and attach to your pelvis.  Therefore, when this muscle gets tight from too much sitting, it can tilt your pelvis forward.  This forward tilt of the pelvis then drags the spine forward with it.  This increases the forward curve at your lower back, which causes back compression and pain.


Now that you know WHY to stretch this muscle, let’s discuss HOW to stretch it.


My video right here will summarize the HOW part for you!



How & Why To Stretch The Iliopsoas


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The muscle shown above is the Psoas Major, which combines with a muscle called the Iliacus to form the Iliopsoas.  The Iliopsoas is the strongest hip flexor muscle in your body and can get very tight from sitting.  As you can see, it has direct attachments to your spine.  When this muscle gets tight, it can pull your spine forward and cause back pain.


Now that you know WHY to stretch the Iliopsoas muscle, let’s discuss HOW to stretch it.


My video right here will summarize this HOW part for you!



In Conclusion

To summarize things for all you Hermanites reading this, sitting too much makes your hip flexor muscles very tight.  Two hip muscles that get especially tight are your Iliopsoas and Rectus Femoris.  When these muscles are tight, they can cause issues in your body like back pain.  This is due to these muscles rounding your spine forward, which will cause compression in your lower back.  This compression then causes back pain.  So try your best to sit less and try out the stretches above and that should help you guys out!


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MEMBER COMMENTS
carend
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I was going to make a post in the forums asking about this exact issue.  Suddenly this article pops up and I'm thinking, awesome.  I'm going to try this on the daily since this really effects my leg workouts once i start getting up there in weight.  Thanks!

energon19
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Damn those tight flexors make the day after heavy leg presses really difficult for me!
Great article @fitness_oriented

Fitness_Oriented  Edit  Delete  Close

I'm glad the article helped you out Sir!

ColossusFitness
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this is solid, very well done! something i will be making a priority will be to include more stretching into my daily routine!

Fitness_Oriented  Edit  Delete  Close

I'm glad it helped you out!  I am subscribed to you on YouTube too, keep up that quality content!

Fox84
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love the article, in fact im gonna go stretch right now before i go to bed  good night everybody

Fitness_Oriented  Edit  Delete  Close

Haha, I just saw you replied to me up above and I'm about to go there and reply to you.  I'll keep it up, don't worry!

Fox84  Edit  Delete  Close

it really does help, lol in fact i just read another article of yours and it was good too, keep up the good info :)

Fitness_Oriented  Edit  Delete  Close

That's a great habit to have every night, to stretch before bed.  I'm glad the article helped you!

SavvvyD
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I'm one of these people! I try to stretch daily and it helps with lower back pain for sure. I try to correct pelvic anterior tilt too, it gives a false impression of a pot belly that's not really there lol. Great article!

Fitness_Oriented  Edit  Delete  Close

You're right about that, tha anterior pelvic tilt can make one look like they have a big belly when they really don't.  I'm glad you liked the article!

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

Nice @savvvyd!  Nice to see you are doing these!  Everybody should!

Scott_Herman
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So many people would have less back pain if they just took the time to stretch for 10 minutes in the morning, every morning!  Great job Jeff!

Whisper
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Extremely useful article! Well done Jeff!