How many of you think you have tight hip flexors? Well, we have news for you...
Whether it came from your yoga teacher or a self diagnosis from watching a few instagram videos, you should probably rethink whether your hips are actually tight.
When you sit a lot (which many of us do), your hip flexors can actually become weak, not necessarily tight. Dr. Bo Babenko says you need to do the Thomas test first to determine if you really have tight hips.
Here's How To Figure It Out
The Thomas test will show you whether your hips are actually tight.
Sit on the edge of a bed or sofa. Lean back, bringing one knee to your chest, and see what the opposite thigh does. If it shoots up - OK - your hips may actually be tight. But most of the time, that other thigh will stay parallel to the ground, which means your issue could be weakness.
This weakness should be treated by strengthening rather than stretching.
Three Ways To Strengthen Your Hips
Halevy Life staff coach Morgan Jackson has 3 great exercises to strengthen your psoas, or hip flexor.
1. Lift Off
Using a box or bench, step one foot onto the box, keeping your knee and hip flexed, and maintain a slight lean. Lift your foot up and hold. This taxes the hip flexor a lot! Try this for a 10-20 second hold per side for 3 sets.
2. High Plank
Place a resistance band around the soles of your feet and set up in a high plank position. Brace your torso, flex your hip and bring your knee to your chest, hold and repeat. Try this 10 reps per side for 3-4 sets.
3. Psoas Kickouts
Lying on your back in the deadbug position, place a resistance band around the soles of your feet and keep your hips and knees at 90 degrees. Inhale, then extend one leg at a time as you exhale. Try this 10 reps per side for 3-4 sets.
Moral of the story? You need to screen yourself to understand what’s happening with your body before you start treating the issue!
Try these out and let us know what you think!