Top 3 Exercises for Hip Flexor Strengthening

This week’s video is on hip flexor strengthening,
per request. The top 3 exercises we will get into here in a moment. The first
thing that I want to discuss though is what are the muscles that fire for your hip to flex?
This is hip flexion, this movement right here. Pretty basic, you have 3 main muscles. The
first one is called your iliacus. It lays on the inside of your pelvis. The other one is
called your psoas. It attaches to your spine and also your femur. So both of those muscles
together are called your iliopsoas. The fibers tend to run together. It is really
2 different muscles but it is one name. The other one is one of your quad muscles called your
rectus femoris. It attaches up here to your pelvis so when that contracts, you also get
hip flexion movement. So even to walk for you to bring your leg forward, you need some
hip flexor strength. I’m going to show you some basic exercises today that we start with
in the clinic. The first one is this. It is pretty basic.
It is called a straight leg raise. Just laying on the back flat, one knee bent up to protect your
low back. Raise the leg up in the air. At Cincinnati Sports Medicine, a few years ago,
I learned what they call a straight leg raise plus which we use in the clinic a lot. Hold
your heel up off of the mat 6 inches. Do a 30 second hold and at the end of 30 seconds,
do 10 fast pumps. It is called a straight leg raise plus and that is courtesy of Mark Paterno,
Frank Noyes, Chris the ATC out at Cincinnati Sports medicine. Excellent exercise. Progressing from the mat, exercise #2 is just
a hip flexion in standing or marching in place. So really, really simple. Bring your
knee up to waist height and back down. If you are looking for a challenge, you can add
an ankle weight. The third exercise if you are looking for
something a little more exciting and involving plyometric would be to go into like a lunge
position. So if you are exercising the right side, you are going to put the hip flexor
on stretch. Keep your body relatively neutral, extend your leg back and then fire up. So
this would be something a little more advanced if we are seeing an athlete, if we
are seeing somebody who wants to run again. Something a little more advanced would
be they could go back into a lunge-like position, extend the hip, stretch the muscle
out and then fire it and bring the knee up as high as possible. There are 3 basic exercises.
There are a lot of other variables that you can throw in. You can use resistance either
via bands or with and ankle weight. There are even some machines that you have
the resistance in the front of the thigh pulling up against. But that will give you
a basic for hip flexor strengthening.

100 thoughts on “Top 3 Exercises for Hip Flexor Strengthening

  1. Veranuem 1 second ago

    When I walk for very long or run very little I experience a lot of hip pain in the front of hip (usually more in right hip than left). I want to do a lengthy hike/climb this summer but don't want to damage anything doing it. I'm anxious to try the first two you showed–how many times a week is best for a physical therapy/strengthening effect? Should I do it every day?

  2. Thanks a lot for these tips! I'm going to start doing them.
    I have a question but it's not hip flexor related. I play soccer once a week but I also do weight-lifting a few times a week. And the problem I'm having is that the days after playing soccer my knees hurt. It's painful for me to walk up the stairs or even bending down and going back up. The next week, the pain is low and after warming up I don't feel anything anymore. Should I get this checked?

    Thanks a lot.

  3. Does not sound right…do you see the surgeon again anytime soon?

    Also, if you are seeing a good hands-on PT, ask them to assess your pelvis. We frequently see a pelvic rotation with hip replacements that causes the problems you speak of…

  4. Hi Chad,

    There's still a slight discomfort/pain on my injured hip flexor, when would u recommend me to start with hip flexor exercise ? (currently im having no discomfort/pain during running, kicking the ball during soccer however is a whole different matter)

    Thanks for the video 🙂

  5. Thanks a lot for your advice! I've actually got a scoliosis and my PT told me that my knees are hurting because of an overload on my nerves or something like that. So now we're doing sessions to fix my back and I'm starting to do stretching.

  6. See a trainer or PT and have them screen your pelvis…you may have an underlying problem there, based on your description…

  7. These are strengthening exercises…stretches will be different…

    I'll post a video for that on our channel…

  8. undervision of my trainer/PT/Physio.. they just want my money which I was told that I am unemployee and got me into income (embrassment) so its not helping . I do need a lot help right inside flexor hip that little stuck. Its look like need charaptic (spell)

  9. Recently I injuries my hip flexor while playing soccer. Honestly it feels fine running, jumping and doing anything but once I kick a soccer ball the pain comes right back. I took a break for 4 weeks and I really want to get back to paying so if any one has some tips that would be great. By the way I'm 13 and am in a pretty major growth spurt and have been dealing with a lot of injuries so maybe this one just needs time.

  10. I am deaf and not good grammar. that's why almost everyone is confuse it.. sigh. only I can call you thru relay so interpreter will explain to you.. more clear to understand.. I need your phone nbr

  11. stretch hip flexors. rest hip flexors. ice hip flexors. repeat. remember, resting a few more days could be the difference between having a fully healed hip flexor, or an injured one that could take several months to recover from. so start up again when you feel its time.

  12. About 2 weeks ago my 8 year old son started his second year of football. The first year his coach commented on the way he ran. He runs heavy putting his heels down first on impact. This year we noticed his left foot was turned inward. His father is a very active person as I am as well. It was hard to watch him try to lift his knees with so much effort and no much result. Little did I know it was because of weak hip flexors. It has been caused by sitting in a "w". Thank you for the exercises.

  13. My hips are popping a lot and I don't know why. My hips are also noisy when they pop. It doesn't hurt at all. And my hips popped alot with the 2nd exercise. I do have tight hips but I am a 17 yr old dancer, gymnast, and runner and I'm flexible. I have ordered a foam roller to try to help loosen my IT band. Are my hips just really weak? Should I continue to do the hip exercises shown in this video if they are causing them to pop? Thanks in advance 🙂 and I stopped growing about 2 years ago.

  14. May want to see a physio or PT in your area for activating your core while moving…popping could be coming from pelvic instability…

    Your PT will be able to tell.

  15. what about not just up and down? like opening the hips side to side. Im a Martial arts fighter and ive been experiencing pain in the flexor area while kicking. doesnt feel like muscle though, feels lint its with the hip joint

  16. Hey Dr. Madden, thank you for this video. Just to tell you quickly, I tore my rectus femoris and my labrum in my right  hip in January. I am looking to play college football as a field goal kicker so I most likely got injured from overkicking or having weak hip flexors. I do a good stretch out routine before but I seem to still aggravate the muscle. Can you please make another video or comment me back of other hip flexor strengthening exercises. Thank you very much

  17. Ive done these three exercises and I have seen positive results. Do you have any more that you can suggest?

  18. Do you not think, that if you are demonstrating lunges, albeit primarily for the hips, that you should show your whole body… Try zooming out a tad.

  19. if i just injured my iliopsoas and want to recover from it, should i do this everyday like 4 sets of the static hold for hip flexors for a minute each set?  WIll that prolong recovery?  Also, while doing this routine can I also do my normal weight lifting routine 3x a week?  (a total body workout at the gym 3 times a week)  Will doing these two routines help maintain strength while recovering or will these two routines prolong recovering from the iliopsoas injury?  Thank You!

  20. I've been doing different hip flexor stretches for weeks and I don't see any improvement. What do you suggest to fix this, hurts like hell on my right side to walk at times?

  21. Hi, Chad, I have had osteo arthritis since I was 10 it has since then moved to my ankles . I am now 32 and now feeling lower to mid back pain on top of everything else. Just recently within the last year I've notice a huge weight gain no natter how much I exercise. Do you think that I could have tight hip flexors?

  22. I kicked a football and popped my hip out because I have weak joints can this help with that or would there be something else I would have to do

  23. interesting points ,if anyone else trying to find out good hip flexor stretches try Nevolly Hip Relief Nerd (should be on google have a look ) ? Ive heard some unbelievable things about it and my colleague got cool success with it.

  24. I'm assuming my hip flexor is my problem. When I back squat now it hurts at the point where my quad meets my hip on the left side. I also walk weird using the same leg and always have is this actually a hip flexor problem and are these exercises right? When I do these exercises I am able to with ease as well as any other leg exercise it literally is only back squats that give me great pain in my hip flexor area. Thank you

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  26. here's a few things for treating pain from hip flexor muscles at home
    Gradually build up to walking 3 miles per day
    Try an anti-inflammatory diet
    Think about trying yoga lessons
    Checkout some online guides
    (I discovered these and the reasons they work on Fergs pain ease website )

  27. So if I get up in the morning and my back on the right side especially is stiff, but a bit of stretching dissipates that, what are the chances that is arthritis? I do have an old back injury there. The stiffness only started this year. I am 69. If I go to yoga regularly I have no problems.

  28. i'd like to thank u for showing 3 exercises that i can actually do, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, u didn't tell me to get down on the floor. (can't get back up)

  29. I have spent months researching treating tight hip flexors at home and discovered a fantastic website at Fergs pain ease (check it out on google)

  30. here's  a few things for treating tight hip flexors at home
    Gradually start walking further per day
    Try an anti-inflammatory diet
    Consider trying yoga lessons
    Checkout some online guides
    (I read these and the reasons they work on Fergs pain ease site )

  31. These are great Hip Flexor exercises! I can now feel my calf and hamstrings relax "disengage" and let the iliopsoa muscles contract "activate/shorten" to pull my leg close to 90 degrees!! Thanks for sharing from a PT perspective

  32. Thank you for sharing these and not making us read 10 pages of junk to sell a video with exercises on it. These seem fairly easy and basic for us folks just wanting a bit more mobility.

  33. wow, i find this exercise fantastic, good work, just like when i came across this

  34. As an athlete that has struggled with tight hip flexors in the past I feel that these exercises are very helpful. Here is another program that will definitely unlock your hip flexors and boost your flexibility!

  35. From my personal experience of strengthening my Hip Flexors. I have received numerous amounts of benefits. Ranging from boost of energy, sexsaul funtion, strength & athletic performance. Your probaly wondering, how do you receive those type of benefits from hip flexor alone? Well to begin with, its the #1 muscle in your body that is key to eliminating joint & back pain, anxiety and looking fat…ECT. By the same token, the tips & tricks are REVEALED! Through this link it show you the 10 SIMPLE MOVES that will bring Vitalityback into your life so that you can be strong, active, energetic for yourself and loved ones.

  36. If you want to get any more help with your hip flexor I have used which has personally helped me and maybe it will for you too

  37. interesting points ,if anyone else wants to learn about causes of tight hip flexors try Letza Joint Relief Lessons ( search on google ) ? Ive heard some interesting things about it and my colleague got excellent results with it.

  38. As I was running at top speed oh, I had to avoid a child in my path. I spun around and eventually just threw myself on the ground. I did not feel anything for 4 days. At which point I was walking across the floor and I felt a pain shoot up my quad. My hip flexor was very tender and still is after 2 weeks. It has improved 50%, thank you for these exercises

    I will seek medical treatment if necessary, but I just want to get back in the marathon game. I am familiar with Cincinnati sports medicine. They treated my son for torn ACL when we were living there

  39. I'm not a therapist of any kind, and I absolutely couldn't stop watching this very informative video. Thank you! I'm often looking to learn more about my own body. I had a 5 year old hip flexor strain that I finally got relief from through my own clumsy massaging ( ). I thought I'd better find out more about how this muscle group works, and I just learned a ton! I think I'll recruit the spouse for the next time I need it released

  40. great…but what if one has a bunion, like me for instance , my balance's been compromised , also it's hard to keep steady posture while standing on one foot, the one with the bunion ..some advise there? ..i really need help..if you have some bunion solutions, advises, exercises that'd be great..problems are really comin from the bottom up
    thanks !

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