If you trust so-called experts on Youtube and online, they'll have you believe it's simply a case of holding a few static stretches for a period of time to try and lengthen the muscle. Or rolling around with a tennis ball stuck to your hip (as if that will really make any difference). It takes more than a tennis ball and foam roller to unlock your hip flexors…and doing it wrong could cause even MORE damage. The reason few people manage to fix their hip flexors is simple. It's really a hard area to reach.
If you see how the psoas is attached within your body, it's buried deep inside your core making it tough to access. It's a hard muscle to find, let alone train. So it's little wonder why trying to loosen it requires more than a simple static hip flexor stretch like the one below you've probably tried before. You've probably found you're spending (or wasting) hours of your time stretching this way only to find it's having minimal effect. That's because you need to attack the muscle from a variety of angles using a variety of exercise techniques and modalities in order to "unpack" the muscle in the right way.
The truth is, you can learn to release your tight hip flexors on your own. If you think of your psoas as a combination safe lock, there are several numbers that will unlock it but they need to be entered in the right order. There are a number of specific movements beyond simple static stretching you can use to unlock and loosen your hips, legs and back.
PNF is an acronym for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. It is a technique where you are activating a specific muscle in order to relax the muscles around a joint so you can decrease the stiffness around a joint.
This is where you are activating the muscle around a joint and moving that joint through its full range of motion in a progressive manner. This leads to an increased range of motion around the joint, warming up of the muscle around the joint and improved circulation around the joint. Think of high knees or butt kicks.
With these exercises we are targeting the muscle in all planes of movement so the core and abdominal muscles have good activation, endurance and strength in all planes of movement which leads to a decrease in unnecessary damaging stress on joints.
In these exercises, we are targeting the joint and doing movements and exercises that help the joint function optimally. This allows a joint to move more freely.
In this unique technique, we are targeting the tissue that muscles are surrounded in and working on loosening and lengthening the fascia. Few people understand the negative effect this tissue can have on your body.
Due to all of our sitting and daily technology use, many of our muscles are not working properly. With this technique, we're targeting those muscles that are off and activate them in order to help the body move more efficiently.
Now you know the specific techniques you need to unlock your hip flexors, the next question is how to combine these in the most effective way. Please don't be overwhelmed by the "Shop Talk" above because...