Tight hips? To Stretch or Strengthen……that is the question!

Tight hips? To Stretch or Strengthen……that is the question!

“My hips always feel tight, or pinch when I walk, sit or squat at the gym. What the hell?”

We hear this a lot in practice!

“I always feel I need to stretch my hips, especially at the front. It feels good………..for 10 minutes only. What the hell?”

We hear this a lot as well!

So what should you do if you get this feeling in the front of your hips often – Stretch or Strengthen?

This is sometimes difficult to answer without an assessment, however understanding WHY you feel this sensation may be helpful when answering.

Many times, our hip flexors become tight because of being in a shortened position for a period of time – think sitting, driving, riding, etc. However, they also may feel tight if our CORE is weak, lazy, on holiday, etc – our nervous system starts using our hip flexors as stabilisers of our low back and pelvis, whilst also using them to move our hips!

They are being worked overtime, and unfortunately getting paid peanuts – I would hurt too if that happened to me!

Now, if we start stretching a muscle that is being used as a STABILISER, there is a chance that muscle will actually increase in tone, leading to the feeling of a tighter muscle.

This is because our nervous system detects DANGER with the stretching, and as a result produces MORE TONE in the hip flexor to ensure stability (safety).

Stretching may feel good for 10 mins, but the feeling of pinching and tightness will just come back!

So how do you discern between stretching a muscle or strengthening it? A proper assessment – one that our Osteopaths and Myotherapists can perform hear at the Sports and Spinal Group.

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