How to Unlock Your Tight Hip Flexors

How to Unlock Your Tight Hip Flexors

Tight hip flexors are a common problem and can be uncomfortable, achy, and even cause lower back pain. Stretching your hip flexors can help you unlock their flexibility and decrease tightness.

The hip flexors are a group of muscles along the front of the upper thigh, including the iliacus, psoas major, and rectus femoris. They allow you to flex your hips when you walk, run, bend, and squat.


One of the most effective ways to unlock your tight hip flexors is to stretch regularly. Stretching daily or at least three times a week can help to prevent injury, improve your flexibility, and increase your quality of life.

Stretching is best done before and after exercise. It’s also important to warm up your muscles before stretching so they become loose and pliable for more dynamic movements.

A classic hip flexor stretch is the piriformis stretch, which targets the small muscle located deep in your buttocks. Simply cross one leg fully over the other and pull it toward your opposite shoulder, allowing the muscles to stretch.

Another variation is the spiderman stretch with thoracic rotation, which is great for strengthening your hip flexors and improving your groin mobility. Set up on the side of a bench and ease into the stretch, keeping your back straight and upright. Try to hold the position for a few seconds as you breathe and relax into it.


If you’re like most of us, you spend a lot of time sitting, which places your hip flexors in a compressed position that makes them shorten and tighten.

This isn’t just a problem for the muscles themselves: It can also cause pain and dysfunction in other parts of your body. Your hamstrings can become tighter, you may feel a tight spot in your back when you walk, and you might not be able to squat as easily as you used to.

To help unlock your tight hip flexors, you need to learn how to stretch them properly. That means learning to relax them before you strengthen them, and it’s important to use a hip flexor release tool (like a foam roller) first.

Combination Stretches

The hip flexors (the iliopsoas and psoas) are one of the most important muscle complexes for runners. Without them, your running stride would look more like falling over than moving forward!

Tight hip flexors can make training harder, lead to injury, and affect performance. To unlock your tight hip flexors, consider adding some combination stretching into your routine!

A review of a number of studies found that the hip flexors are susceptible to acute bouts of stretching and that these exercises can decrease tightness and increase ROM. Furthermore, repeated application of these exercises has also been found to reduce back pain and prevent injuries.


Tight hip flexors aren’t just annoying, they can also be a risk factor for injury. They can flare up when you’re performing lower body exercises like squats and deadlifts, and they can make everyday activities like walking or sitting less comfortable.

A group of muscles called hip flexors control movement of the hip joint, including the psoas major (in the thigh), iliopsoas, iliacus, and tensor fasciae latae (TFL, near the outer hip). They work together to “allow them to flex the hip joint, anteriorly rotate the pelvis, and extend the lumbar spine”, according to The Barbell Physio.

Tight hip flexors can be caused by a variety of factors, including lifestyle, heavy lifting, and lack of stretching. But most commonly, they’re caused by a condition called adaptive shortening, which occurs when long periods of sedentary lifestyle cause these muscles to deactivate and become progressively weaker and shorter.


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