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Blog

Hip Flexor Stretching

Stuart Moore

Riders could commonly do with a bit more stretching in this area, especially if when you’re not riding you’re sat at a computer or driving. This post should hopefully help you to get a bit more quality in your stretch. The concept with all this stuff revolves around what I call movement efficiency. The idea is to try to promote extra movement from areas that should move lots (hips) and promote stability from areas that shouldn’t move very much (lumbar spine/low back). A simple way of thinking about this is to treat each mobility drill or stretch like a strict core stability exercise. 

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The thing with this sort of stretch is to work out which variation gives you just the right amount of stretch without pushing your hips out in front of your knee and shoulders (like the arched back stick man diagram with the X) and not so aggressively that you hold your breath and grit your teeth.

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You should be able to relax whilst squeezing your bum cheek on the side that you’re stretching and bracing your abdominals. This should have the effect of pulling your pelvis into what’s known as a posterior tilt. That essentially means lifting the front of the pelvis up towards the rib cage. The rib cage will be being simultaneously pulled down by the same abdominals. We call this an anti - extension contraction which would also be used when doing Dying Bugs and ‘normal’ Planks.

The reason this is recommended is that we’re trying to promote more movement/mobility/flexibility from the hips and importantly NOT more extension/arch from the lumbar spine (low back).  

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No front or rear elevation is the easiest version with high raises front and back with stretch side arm up being tough for flexible riders.

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If you have time consider massaging your front thighs/quads with a foam roller in a strict plank position for a few minutes to promote more blood flow and warmth prior to stretching. 

Lastly, make sure you use a very comfortable pad to keep your knees happy.

Remember these stretches are your anti sitting down stretches. Do them often people!