Today I’m sharing a link to a good article by Andrew Paul on the often overlooked hip flexors. Andrew was an athlete and later a intern for our strength staff at Missouri State University. He’s a very knowledgeable up and coming strength coach. http://www.elitefts.com/documents/hip_flexor.htm
There is so much focus on the posterior chain these days that many people have forgotten about the hip flexors. Often they need to be re-lengthened due to lifestyles many have these days. Tight hip flexors can cause some major problems for the lower back.
When we stretch the hip flexors we want to keep
the shoulders stacked on top of the hips with a flat back. We don’t want a swayback or any type of arch. When this happens it takes the tension off the hip flexors and isn’t doing the lumbar spine any favors either. Keeping the torso rigid we want to stay tall and drive the hips forward, not down.
Why is it important to keep the torso tight and upright instead of arching? The psoas, one of the main flexors of the hip, origin is from the t-12 – l-5 vertebrae. Arching the back is a compensation pattern for the hip flexors, not to mention dangerous for the low back. Also, when we arch the back and drive down during a hip flexor stretch we allow our pelvis to go into anterior tilt. Letting the pelvis go into anterior tilt allows a less effective stretch.
Instead of creating distance between the femur and pelvis, we allow them to move together. MORAL OF THE STORY!!! The pelvis and lumbar spine need to be stabilized in order to get maximally stretch the hip flexors.