November 15, 2021 8 min read
Your hip flexors do an enormous amount of work for you, both inside and outside of the gym. Hip flexors are responsible for many movements involving lifting your legs. You use them to walk, run, kick, climb stairs, and accomplish countless other tasks.
Because you use them so often, hip flexor tension can be a real buzzkill in your life. Tightness in your hips can cause discomfort when you move around, lift weights, run, cycle, or do many other activities. If you feel tightness in your hip flexors, read on to learn more about what is happening in your body and how a simple foam roller can help.
Your hip flexor is a group of muscles located on the front of your thigh in your pelvic area. They help you complete many movements that are crucial to your daily life, such as bending at the waist, lifting your knees, and flexing your hips. They also work to keep your posterior pelvic muscles balanced with the rest of your body.
Your hip flexors work hard all day so it is essential to keep them healthy and happy to avoid injury and see optimal results from your workout routine.
Hip flexor tension is a feeling of tightness in your hip flexor muscles, usually presenting at the front of your hips or as a tugging feeling in your groin. It is essential to address hip flexor tension right away to prevent the tension from developing into a strain or more serious injury.
If you are feeling hip pain, you are not alone.
An article in the American Family Physician journal discussed the prevalence of adult anterior hip pain, including your hip flexors.
While seeing your doctor may be in order, this article is an excellent place to learn more about managing hip flexor tension.
If you are unsure if the discomfort you are experiencing is hip flexor tension, pay attention to when you feel the tightness in your hips.
Hip flexor tension typically presents in the following situations:
Hip flexor tension can derive from your workout, daily habits, or a combination of both.
If you are experiencing hip flexor tension, one of the following culprits may be the root of your discomfort:
If you feel more intense pain than we have described here, you may be experiencing a hip flexor strain. If you believe that you have a hip flexor strain, consider visiting a medical professional who can help you address the issue and prevent it in the future.
While consulting with your medical professional for a strain is always a good idea, the following home remedies can provide relief for minor strains:
For more information on dealing with this injury, check out this article on tips and rehab exercises for hip flexor strains.
Now that you have identified your discomfort as hip flexor tension, let’s talk about what you can do to relieve your pain and prevent further injury. Your hip flexors connect to many muscles, so we can help stretch them out by targeting nearby muscles such as your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
Below are our favorite foam roller stretches to roll out your hip flexor tension:
Stretching is essential to avoiding injury and ensuring that you can continue performing to the best of your abilities in the gym. We know it can be tempting to skip the warmup or the cool-down when you are tight on time and fit your workout into your busy schedule, but we really can’t stress enough how important it is to make time for your stretching.
A solid warmup is crucial to a good workout. Your hip flexors do a lot of work during most of your workout sessions, so you want to make sure that they are ready to work. Warming up is how you prime your body for a successful workout. A foam roller is a great tool to loosen up the trigger points and tight muscles in your body, but it is not the only way to get in a good stretch before your workout.
Pair your foam roller with dynamic stretches to warm up your body and get ready to work.
Cooling down is just as crucial to maintaining the good health of your hip flexors and other muscles. A good cool-down helps stretch and release tightness in the muscles you just worked, getting them ready to work again in your next workout. While stretching and foam rolling are great ways to cool down, don’t underestimate the importance of getting a good night’s rest after your workout.
Foam rolling is one of our favorite ways to relieve tension throughout the body. They use your bodyweight to self-massage and open up sore muscles, with no additional equipment necessary. Foam rolling is easy for beginners to learn on their own without the help of a physical therapist or professional masseuse, making it one of the most popular ways to relieve tight spots throughout your body. Using a foam roller regularly can increase blood flow to sore or tight muscles, providing pain relief and releasing trigger points throughout your full body.
Regular completion of foam roller exercises can help you increase your range of motion and provide pain relief when you need it. Many people incorporate foam rolling into their warmup or cool-down, while others make them part of their regular workout routine. Foam rollers have become increasingly popular amongst physical therapists and Pilates enthusiasts, who understand their value to hardworking athletes.
A study in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal found that foam rolling not only reduced muscle soreness but also led to other improvements in working out, such as improved vertical jump height and muscle activation.
Keep the following tips in mind when using your foam roller:
Now that you are ready to tackle your hip flexor pain, it’s time to grab your foam roller and get to work. These simple exercises will help you release tightness in your muscles using only your body weight and our favorite piece of warmup and cooldown equipment - the foam roller.
Add RESTED-AF to your nightly routine to enhance your recovery even further.