This is a safe hip flexor and front hip stretch for anyone who is unable to kneel or stand due to knee pain or hip pain. This stretch is helpful for improving posture, low back pain, hip pain and improving iliopsoas and rectus femoris muscle mobility.
Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and Ayurveda herbalist. So I’m going to show you a hip flexor stretch, especially for those of you who have knee pain or are not able to get down on the floor in half kneeling or just can’t put any weight on that knee to get a hip flexor stretch, or standing is difficult to do a stretch. So this is another alternative position that you can use to stretch out the hip flexors and just kind of open up the front of the hip.
So what we’re going to do is, bed will work just fine. I’ve had patients do it even on a kitchen table, but bed usually works just fine as long as the bed is not too high. So what you want to do is you want to think about, so I’m going to be stretching up my left hip flexor. So this is my right side. It’s the side that’s on the mat, is the one were stretching. So what I’m going to do is the other leg is on the ground; bring that leg forward. So if I can, I want to make sure my foot is flat on the ground. So just by getting in this position, it ends up allowing me to stretch my hip flexor a little bit easier on my left side.
So next thing I’m going to do is I’m going to tighten up my left glute, this one. When I tighten up this left glute, it protects my low back, it flattens out. And the same thing, by bringing this right leg down on the ground and forward, what I’m doing is I’m changing the alignment on my pelvis, I’m locking it out a little bit through here, and that allows me to protect my low back. We want to get the stretch from the front of the hip. Your hip flexors are muscles right through this region and they are doing this function. Your iliopsoas, your rectus femoris – these are your hip flexors. So when they’re tight, they cause all sorts of problems. So what we’re going to do is I want to bring my leg down first, the other leg is on the bed, I’m going to tighten up my glutes on my left side – that protects my spine and allows me to get an easier stretch for my hip flexors on my left side too.
So next thing I can do is I’m going to work using my arms to raise myself up. So just getting to this position will allow me to get a stretch in the front of the hip on the left side. So throughout the movement as I’m raising up, you want to make sure you keep your glutes tight. You could even tighten up your abdominals. So I might tighten up my lower abdominals almost doing like a posterior pelvic tilt. So I’m tightening up my lower abdominals, I’m squeezing my butt muscles on my left side, and I’m going to use my arms to bring myself up. As I raise up, I’m targeting the front of that hip to stretch out that front of that hip. And I can go higher up. As long as you’re comfortable, you’re not hinging at your low back or you’re not feeling discomfort in the low back and I keep my butt tight, I can raise up and I can get a good stretch in the front of the hip. But the whole time I want you to make sure you maintain tight abdominals as well as tight glutes on your left side, and I come up and I can get a good stretch in the front of that hip.
Now, let’s say if I want to go a bit further, I want to get a stronger stretch, so yes, I can come up here into an upright position and I can still work on bending my knee, and I might even decide to reach back and grab back so now I’m getting my quads also, my rectus femoris definitely, and I’m going to open up everything on my left side. But, again, keep in mind, keep your glutes tight, abdominals are tight.