T Nation

Great Stretch For Hip Flexors

So I’ve recently been focusing on squats and deadlifts and have noticed accumulating soreness and tightness in my hip flexors.

i asked a PT student today and they recommended a great stretch i thought i’d share with the other squatters on this forum.

lie face-up on a table with your legs dangling and your butt half off. bend one leg at the knee and bring it up to your chest while maintaining the droop in your other leg. ideally you would have one person pushing your bent leg up while gently pulling your other leg down. you’ll feel a great stretch in your dangling leg.

it’s freagin money and much better than the other exaggerated lunge type stretches i’ve seen on the internet.

That sounds like a fine stretch, but it would primarily work on the low back and glutes of the bent leg, with the dangling leg being stretched secondarily. Plus, I don’t think we all have a team of two stretch-spotters to help with the pulling and pushing. :wink:

I find the reverse lunge and twist to be one of the most effective stretches around. Twisting opposite of the leg that’s lunging (right leg back, twist to the left) really emphasizes the stretch across the hip flexors, abs, and obliques. You can reach, as shown above, or do more of a horizontal twist, as described in Magnificent Mobility, to involve the low back a bit more.

I actually think I found a pic of the stretch you’re describing, too. I’d still use it primarily to stretch the low back and glutes, but as with any exercise, it’s all about where you place the emphasis.

By any chance, have you noticed that the person stretching in both your pics are doing almost the same pose?

It really isn’t much of a coincidence.

[quote]Arioch wrote:
By any chance, have you noticed that the person stretching in both your pics are doing almost the same pose?

It really isn’t much of a coincidence.[/quote]

True enough, but like I said, it’s a matter of emphasis.

I’m most familiar in performing the second stretch (the one lying down) when applying slight pressure to the bent leg to target the glutes. If you focus instead on pressuring down on the dangling leg, then yep, the hip flexors on that side will be targeted.

With the lunging version, it’s already targeting the hip flexors primarily. To engage the glutes more, you’d need to lean into the forward leg more.

Forgive the analogy, but it’s the difference between doing a leg press with just the balls of the feet vs. driving through the heels only. Same exercise, just slightly tweaked depending on what you want to do with it.

But I think we’re on the same page.

thanks for the reverse lunge stretch. that one is a bit easier to do, and like you said, doesn’t need a person to assist.

I like the lunge stretch with the foot of the hip flexor/quad to be stretched on a bench.

Brace the abs to pull the pelvis into good alignment too, otherwise it loses some tension to stretching the abs.

i like the hip flexor stretch version of Defranco or the warrior hip flexor stretch of Eric Cressey. both work equally goodl for me.