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From the Desk of Dr. Len

Therapeutic Exercise to Stretch Tight Hip Flexors

Dr. Len Lopez - Thursday, May 21, 2015


Probably the biggest culprit and most overlooked cause of low back pain comes from tight hip flexors.

I think most doctors, chiropractors and therapists overlook the psoas and illiacus, which are the muscles that make up the hip flexor, is because they are always looking for the cause of pain at the site of pain. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.



Here I am going to show you a simple exercise anyone can do to dynamically stretch those tight hip flexors. Remember the hip flexors attach on the front of the spine, specifically the front of your vertebrae and disc. When you sit for long periods of time, more than 45 minutes at a time….the muscle becomes shorter.

Why do you think it is more painful to stand or rise from the sitting position? It's because when you stand, you lengthen your hip flexors – which have been in a contracted or shortened position for the two hours you were watching a movie, etc.  They’ve basically adapted to being shorter and aren’t as long as they used to be, which is why they begin pulling on the front of your spine.


stretch tight hip flexors;how to stretch tight psoas;exercise for tight hip flexors;The video will show you hot to stretch the muscles…give them a try. Don’t Over-Stretch your hip flexor by extending your leg too far back….you simply need to take your leg back as far as you can and still touch the floor.


Try this exercise at home, the office, while you are waiting in line to pay for groceries or pumping gas. It’s that simple. The more you do it the more you will be contracting your hip extensors (gluteus maximus muscle), which extends your hip, and are the antagonist to your hip flexors.


Lastly, walking is a great way to both stretch and contract your hip flexors and extensors, because your butt muscles are the muscle that contracts and propel you forward as you walk. Don't forget, when you contract one muscle...the opposing or antagonist muscle has to stretch and relax. Therefore walking does a little bit of both for you.


FYI...You don't get the same benefits from walking on a treadmill or elliptical machine, because you don't engage the butt muscles on those types of machines. This is also why you don't firm up your rear end on those machines. You can find more info on this subject from other posts I have written on this subject.


Hope this little tip is helpful, especially if you think your low back pain might be caused by tight hip flexors. You should also try this simple Do-It-Yourself test to see if your hip flexors are too tight.


biggest workout mistakes;common workout mistakes, ten, 10.

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