Light exercise is encouraged to relieve hip flexor pain. There are several exercises recommended to stretch, strengthen, and reduce hip pain. These exercises do not require any equipment and can easily be done at home. In general, these exercises are most beneficial when done on a regular basis, even after pain subsides.
This exercise can help elongate tight hip flexors and relieve soreness:
- Start in a standing position and take one large step forward. Your feet should be in one line and your toes pointed forward.
- Avoid arching your back.
- Keep the back leg straight and slowly bend your front knee. Lower your body until there is resistance in the back leg’s hip flexor.
- Sink as low as possible without allowing the front knee to extend past the toe.
- Hold position for 30 seconds to a minute.
This can be done with both legs, even if pain is only on one side.
This exercise will engage the hip flexors and improve core strength:
- Begin by lying flat on the ground with your arms relaxed on either side of your body.
- Raise both legs so that they are at a 90-degree angle with the floor. Keep your back flat on the ground.
- Extend one leg forward so that it is just a few inches off the ground while simultaneously raising the opposite arm above your head.
- Return the extended leg and arm to the original position and repeat on the other side.
Perform 10 to 15 reps.
This exercise is similar to a regular squat but specifically targets the hips:
- Begin in a relaxed, standing position with your toes pointed forward and hands clasped in front of your chest.
- Bend from the knees and hips, lowering the buttocks towards the ground. Keep your back straight and chest lifted. Maintain your weight in the heels (you should be able to wiggle your toes).
- Straighten your legs to push up to a standing position, shifting weight to the left leg and lifting the right leg to the side, keeping foot flexed and right toes aimed forward.
- Return to the original position and repeat with the opposite leg, going back and forth 10 to 15 times.
You may hold onto a chair or wall for balance if necessary.
In general, stretches and exercises should be approached cautiously. You may want to seek the guidance of a physical therapist.