“Running Rewired” author Jay Dicharry shares a way to tell whether you need to start stretching your hip flexors.
Kneel inside a doorway, with your mid back touching the doorframe. The thigh you are kneeling on should be vertical, and the shin of your opposite leg should also be vertical. In this position, you’ll have a small gap between your low back and the doorframe.
Now, tuck your tailbone under so that the hollow between your low back and the doorframe disappears. To make this happen, imagine your pelvis as a bowl of cereal that you are trying to spill behind you. This movement is commonly referred to as pelvic tilt. Once you are in this position, what do you feel?
If you feel a huge pull in front of the thigh:
Incorporate the kneeling hip flexor stretch below into your weekly maintenance work.
If you feel nothing or just a gentle lengthening:
There is no need to do any static stretches in the hip flexors. The Running Rewired Workouts build in plenty of dynamic mobility movement to ensure you use the hip motion you do have.
- Kneel on a pad or pillow, making sure to keep the thigh of the leg you are kneeling on vertical.
- Tuck your pelvis under (see the posterior pelvic tilt instruction in the hip mobility test above). Hold this position for 3 minutes.
- To increase the stretch, position the foot of your kneeling leg out to the side a few inches (this will rotate your thigh inward) before moving into a posterior pelvic tilt.