When you sprint or kick, you put a lot of pressure and stress on your hip flexors. That is why most athletes especially soccer players, runners and martial artists are prone to getting hip flexor injuries that lead to hip flexor pain. The hip flexor is made up of several muscles that let you lift the knees and bend them right at your waist. The hip flexor is located within the abdominal cavity. They are among the strongest muscles in the human body.
Quick Tip to Relax Your Tight Hip Flexors
Flexor muscle strain varies from a small muscle tear which can cause less pain to no difficulties in walking to a severe rupture of the flexor muscles which definitely results to severe pain and loss of function. Therefore, you need to be careful whenever you are exercising or when you sit in a certain position for a long time.
How hip flexors work?
As noted earlier, hip flexor is a group of muscles that work together. The main function of these muscles is hip flexion. Hip flexion basically means to bring the thigh up towards the abdomen. These muscles are very active when the abdomen region is moving towards the thighs. The hip flexor pain is normally felt in the upper groin part, where the pelvis meets the thighs.
How long does the hip flexor take to heal?
People are different, and every individual recovered from the flexor pain injury at various rates. Therefore, returning to competition or training will be determined by how fast your flexor muscles recover, but not by the number of days or weeks have passed since your injuries have occurred. However, the hip flexor pain generally takes between one and two weeks to heal completely.
Exercises for Hip Flexor Pain
A simple injury hip flexor strain can cause severe pain in the flexor muscles around the groin or at the front of the hip. The main function of the flexor muscles is to help your lift and bend your knees. A muscles strain can lead to micro-tears due to the sudden contraction or overuse of sprinting, stretching and kicking exercises.
To reduce the pain, carry out hip flexor exercises at least three times per day, as long as the exercises don’t cause too much pain.
Slowly stretch your quadriceps. These are muscles that are located on the front of the thighs and the hip flexor at the same time. There are two techniques of doing sitting, standing or stretch.
If you are doing the standing stretch, hold on to a chair back or a table. Bend your knees while holding the top part of your ankles with your hands. If you are experiencing pain on both hips, start with one side before embarking on the other- one leg after the other.
Now pull your foot towards the buttocks until you experience a stretch feel in the quadriceps, hold the stretch for about thirty seconds and then release. Repeat the procedure at least three times on both hips.
When it comes to stretch sitting, you should use a bench to do the stretching. Firstly, position one of your legs in front of the floor while bending the other one backwards with the front of the thigh flat on the bench.
Touch the top of the ankle of the leg that is lying flat on the bench behind you and then pull it towards your back. Hold for about thirty seconds. Do the routine at least three times on both sides of the legs.
Hip flexor stretch
To stretch the hip flexor, you need to kneel down and put one leg in front while bending the knees and let the foot lie flat on the floor. Press the hip forward while pushing the pelvis down to the floor and at the same time pushing your shoulders in the opposite direction.
Hold the stretch for around thirty seconds and release. Repeat the procedure two more times.
Resisted hip flexion
The aim of this exercise is to strengthen your hip flexor muscles. There are two ways of doing the flexion, you can either use your hands or use a band. If you have a band, tie it tightly around your ankle. Tie a knot on the other side and close the knot in a door, right at the bottom of the door.
Stand a few meters from the door to prevent slacking in the band. Position your leg forward while keeping your knee straight continue to stretch until you feel the resistance in your knees and left.
On the second technique, lay your body flat on the floor and draw one knee towards you and use both hands to push the knee away. Do this for about thirty seconds before you release the leg. Do the procedure three more times.
With either technique, carry out the exercise on both the right and the left sides.
Hip extensions while lying
Lie down on top of a bench or bed. You should lie close to the edge is such a way that both of your legs touch the floor. The injured area should be close enough to the edge. The knee of the side that is not injured should be moved close to the chest and the injured side should drop slightly from the bed. Hold the position for about fifteen seconds and the release. You can do the exercise at least ten times a day.
Important tips to note
Before you start engaging in any stressful activity, it is imperative to warm up your muscles and stretch your hips. This is as crucial as exercising other parts of your body. Your warm up and stretching routine should have plenty of hip flexion, movement and rotation of your legs.
If you want to avoid hip flexor muscle pain, you should avoid sitting for long hour. You should walk around or start to stretch after staying in a sitting position for a long period of time.
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