Tight Hip Flexors? Maybe You Should Take A Deep Breath!!!!

Tight Hip Flexors? Maybe You Should Take A Deep Breath!!!!

Hip flexors – those muscles that cross the front of our hips – are often tight, uncomfortable and painful. In practice, this is seen if someone sits down for a long period of time, like at work, or rides a bike (in the gym and on the road), and then at home, sits some more. Over time, our hip flexors become shorter and shorter in length, and perhaps leading to pain and discomfort, as well a decrease in function when we need it – like running.

Some of our hip flexor muscles attach from the spine to the front of the upper thigh. Their main job is to flex the hip, however, if our inner “core” (those deep muscles that attach to the spine from vertebrae to vertebrae) are either weak or not activating when they should, the hip flexors put in overtime and now act as stabilisers, rather than just movers. In essence – they are doing 2 jobs for the price of 1 – and they get tired. No wonder they sometimes are tight, sore and painful.

So, what to do? We could massage, foam roll, and stretch the hip flexors all day to try to get some length into them, however this does not change the reason WHY they are tight/weak/painful. So let’s start there – let’s improve our CORE activation, and reduce the work our hip flexors need to do.

How? Breathing……more specifically, abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing.

The diaphragm is the “roof” of our inner CORE – when used properly during breath, it increases pressure within the abdomen whilst also stimulating the activation of the rest of our inner core. This allows for a more stable CORE! When there is more stability, our hip flexors don’t need to work as hard, and are able to “relax”, becoming less hypertonic and allowing better function.

Just breath!!!!! I hear you say. Sometimes it can be that simple!

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