The “hip flexors” are the muscles near the front of the thighs and hips that help bring your knees UP toward your torso (and often tight from sitting). I made a video that teaches you how to perform the Perfect Lunge to Stretch them so you could get more hip extension! There are many intricacies that turn the lunge into a very effective stretch for the muscles at the front of the thighs and hips (such as the rectus femoris and the iliopsoas complex.)
After you are comfortable with that stretch, progress to part 2 below!
- For people who sit a lot and don’t stretch the hip flexors, they have often lost all hip extension and need to restore it. Stretching the hip flexors will help your hips have more hip extension (read: the ability to bring your thighs behind you without arching the lower back to compensate).
- Lunges are a commonly prescribed basic stretch if someone is having lower back pain, because the iliopsoas complex (deep hip flexor) connects the thighs to the lower back, and if they’re tight they pull on the lower back. Doing it in a low lunge is a very good start toward stretching them.
- The cues in the video (squaring, tucking, etc) are applicable to ALL hip flexor stretches, including high/standing lunges or the couch/wall quad stretch and so forth.
How this relates to bodyweight exercises
Excellent Reception on /r/fitness
I posted this on /r/fitness and it got 4600 upvotes going into the top 25 most upvoted things on that subreddit. That helped it get a lot of views: almost 30,000 in fact on YouTube (with 867 thumbs up and 9 thumbs down… who are you thumbs down people, anyway?)
Anyway, the strong popularity of this video was much to my surprise because I didn’t think such a video on the basics would be so impactful. Check it out if you want more information (or entertainment).
What to do next?
Lachlan Walker (Australian Gymnast) and I did a collaboration together where I showed him how to do the “couch stretch” which can possibly be even more intense than the previous low-lunge with foot bind. So here’s that follow along video! (Cued to start)