Hips don’t lie – your hips play a huge role in fluid running. However, the hips remain the weak link in many runners. We, runners, tend to think we need strong legs. We focus on strengthening our quads and hamstrings, but we often neglect our hips and glutes. The repetitive use of these weak muscles causes them to become really tight. Tight hip flexors can cause further overuse injuries such as ITB syndrome and runner knee problems. This is why it is important to always stretch out our hip flexors. Here are 4 hip flexor stretches every runner should do.
#1 The Pigeon
The pigeon is a yoga pose that stretches your hip flexors and hip rotators known as the king of hip openers. It really helps relieve tension in your hips, one hip at a time. Remember to open up both hips. You can lean forward and bring your torso towards the mat to feel a more intense stretch.
#2 Figure 4 Stretch
The figure 4 stretch targets your hip flexors and glutes. The stretch can be done lying on your back and resembles a number 4. Bend your left knee place your right ankle on your left knee. Pull your bent left knee towards your torso. You should feel a nice stretch in your hips and glute area.
#3 The Frog
This stretch may seem uncomfortable initially. Slowly ease yourself into this stretch that also helps open up your hips. Get on all fours and bring your elbows to the ground. Walk your knees out as far as you can from each other and feel the stretch.
#4 The Butterfly
We are all probably very familiar with the butterfly stretch, probably a pose that we all know since kids. Pull the soles of your feet together and pull them towards your body. Try and press your knees towards the ground whilst in this position. This pose may also feel uncomfortable initially, however, take deep breaths and slowly ease into this pose.