What Are Hip Flexors and Why Are They Tight?
The hip flexors are a group of muscles around the top of your thighs that connect your upper leg to your hip. They’re called hip flexors because they create flexion in the hip, which is the technical term for a bending movement around a joint in a limb that decreases the angle between the bones of the limb at the joint (such as the knee or elbow).
These muscles are involved in just about every kind of movement that involves your lower body. I.e. squat, lunge, deadlift, etc...
The hip flexors/iliospoas are typically very tight in many people for various reasons. Prolonged sitting causes these muscles to stay in a contracted state for too long and can cause extreme tightness. Weak muscles can also be a culprit causing tightness and pain. Ideally, you want to strike a balance between stretching and strengthening to avoid having these muscles become too tight which can cause lower back pain as well as hinder your training progress.
The most effective strengthening exercise for the Hip flexors is a standing straight single leg lift. Add some variations such as a 5 sec. hold at the top of each repetition and feel the mega burn! Another option is to add ankle weights or perform the movement on a cable machine.
Watch and follow along with the video for some specific stretches for the hip flexors.