Everything You Need To Know About Tight Hip Flexors

Tight hips flexors are the feeling of tightness that comes from tension around the hips.

As the name suggests, hip flexors allow you to flex the hip as you bend, squat, or raise your knees. Today, we often see more people have tight hips flexors, whether they are office workers or professional athletes. While some people are genetically born with tighter hips, they can also be caused by restricted movement of the hips.   

Although we are all guilty of it, sitting for long periods can contribute to tight hip flexors. By constricting the muscles in this way can make them tighter, especially if you’re not incorporating hip stretches and strengthening into your routine. While having tight hip flexors may give you some discomfort, they can also increase your risk for injury. This tightness can further lead to cramping in the muscles of the upper leg, a tugging sensation in the front of the groin, muscle spasm and can cause lower back pain.  

As our hips connect to our lower back, it’s important to remember the potential impact that it can have to rest of our bodies. Tight hip flexors can make it harder for your pelvis to rotate properly when moving, therefore causing our lower backs to work harder and potentially become strained or injured.   

For our gym-goers, the glute is also more difficult to activate with tight hip flexors. As both the hips and glutes are opposing muscles, one cannot work effectively if the other is tightened. Therefore, in your squats, other muscles such as your quads become more dominant instead of your glutes, which can lead to additional pressure and strains on the leg muscles.   

As you will know by now, tight hip flexors have the potential to cause further injury to the body. That’s why it’s more important than ever to stretch and strengthen your hips before any injury occurs. 

Here are our top three favourite stretches to do to help with your hip flexors.  

Seated butterfly stretch 

Sitting up straight on the floor, place the soles of the feet together letting the knees bend outwards. Pull your heels gently inwards as the knees dropped further towards the floor. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. 

Knee to chest stretches 

Lying on your back with both legs extended, pull your right knee into your chest, while keeping your left leg straight and your lower back pressing into the floor. Hold this post for 30 seconds then repeat on the other leg.  

Lunging hip flexor stretch  

Kneel on your right knee and place your left foot flat on the floor in front of you with your knee bent. Slightly lean forward, stretching the right hip towards the floor. While squeezing your butt, you should feel this stretch in your right hip. Hold this for 30 records then repeat on the other leg.  

While stretching is always recommended, it is important you know when you should stretch and when you shouldn’t. When stretching becomes painful, stop immediately. Forcing the muscles to stretch can irritate the joint and cause you more pain.   

If you are starting to experience muscle aches or pain in your hip, don’t wait! 

Contact the practice today at (02) 47217798, email info@progressiverehab.com.au or book your appointment online here. 

Elin, is an alumni of St. Edward’s University and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, furthered her academic journey by attaining a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Macquarie University in 2022.

Her passion for sports, particularly football (soccer), is evident in both her academic pursuits and personal endeavors. Specialising in the comprehensive well-being of athletes, Elin focuses on restoring them to peak performance while actively preventing future injuries.

Elin’s professional expertise is centered on musculoskeletal rehabilitation, with a specific emphasis on addressing and preventing knee injuries. Her approach integrates expert treatment with a commitment to educating and empowering patients, fostering their active involvement in enhancing their health and overall quality of life.

As an active participant in NPL football with SD Raiders, Elin brings firsthand experience and a profound understanding of the sport’s demands. Beyond the field, she extends her influence by contributing sports coverage over the weekends.

Christopher (Chris) Han graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, and then completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2018. Chris is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in the field of low back pain and is due to complete this in early 2024. 

Chris is currently an assistant Physiotherapist for the NRL Referees. Chris has previous experience as the head Physiotherapist at Panthers Premier League Netball and a number of elite sporting athletes in the private setting.

Through Chris’ experiences, he has a particular interest in all areas of the body and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports, vestibular rehabilitation, and Men’s Health (pre and post prostate surgery).

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, in cardiac rehabilitation, neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since working at Progressive, Andrea has a specialist interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries, helping people in the mid-late stage of rehab to get them to return to sport or work. As well as helping people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.