T Nation

Tight Hip Flexors

I think it’s the psoas muscle, I Has anyone had this problem and corrected it. How’d you do it or who did you see.

It’s holding back my squats and sprints, I’d really apprciate some advice. Thanks in advance.

I had ART done on my hip flexors and then statically stretched them once a day, doing 3 stretches twice each for around 20 seconds. Problem cleared up in about 2 months.

I had a bit of back trouble a while back, and among the things I did to fix it was try to do the splits (front to back) in order to stretch my hip flexors. Not sure if I was right in thinking this was the correct way to stretch them effectively, but if ‘feels’ like it. My back’s come good recently, so I would assume the stretching has helped.

Mine tighten up every now and again. Physiotherapy like ART or something similar is the best cure IMO. Try looking at some of the hip flexor and lower back programs in T-mag - I have fewer problems when my training schedule includes a lower back/hip flexor day.

pavels stretching book helped…doing lunges …yet ease into the stretch by each rep going further and further… his idea is that the nervous system needs to be reassured that there is no problem going in2 that range of motion…i start out w/ this and then sink in2 a stretch that is comfortable to hold…ive even been working w/ body weight lunges like the squats in the combat training and they are helping

thanks guys, I’m gonna make an appointment with the ART guy in my town. And emenef, whenever I got an extra 20 I’ll pick pavels book. I’ll keep the board posted.

I had some pretty severe pain with my hip flexors when squatting a few months ago. Since it continued for a while, I examined every angle I could think of, and these are the things I did/do that have helped tremendously: 1)ART is complete greatness. After a couple of brutal sessions, I was good to go, 2) Stretch - I stretch my legs thoroughly most every day, especially legs days. I directly stretch my flexors by getting on the floor in a lunge position (for left flexor: left knee on the ground and right foot out in front about 90 degrees bend) and lean forward pressing my left hip towards the ground. To take it a step farther, when pressing my left hip forward, I place my left hand on the top back of my head and pull/stretch the left elbow up and back to accentuate the stretch. Wow, that was hard to explain! 3) Make sure to have good form when squatting including foot position. I was allowing my stance to stagger a bit. 4) Avoid heavy Smith machine squats. See the articles about shearing. I still do lighter front Smith squats from time to time with no noticeable problems. 5) Consider doing more narrow stance squats for a while until your hip flexors improve. I find the wider my stance, the more problems I have with the flexors.
These few considerations have benefited me personally in avoiding pain and improving my squat. I still sometimes have slight pain after my squat workouts, but nothing substantial and it does not linger. As always, you have to see what works for you and give it some time to heal where it is not so easily inflammed.

How do you know it’s your psoas that’s causing the problem? The easiest way to tell is to deadlift and see which way your hip naturally rotates in the bottom position. If it pulls up under your body towards your abdomen (anterior rotation), then it’s most likely a lack of flexibility in your hip flexors. Lack of posterior chain development could also be the culprit. Either way, spend more time training your hamstrings/deadlifts and more time stretching your entire lower body. ART is always a great option too.