Q: What muscle do people most need to stretch?
A: If there is one muscle group that tends to be tight for a lot of folks, it’s the hip flexors— the muscles at the front of your hip that bring your knees toward your chest. Many of us have jobs that require sitting, placing the hip in prolonged flexion and causing the hip flexors to become overactive and shortened. Keeping your hip flexors limber will enable you to walk longer distances without pain.
The tightness is often felt at the front of the hips, and can result in hip discomfort and negatively impact the knees and low back.
Try this hip flexor stretch when you find yourself sitting for a long period of time, and prior to your workouts:
• Take one step forward.
• Point the toes of your back foot at the forward foot’s heel. • Squeeze your butt so that your lower back flattens and rounds a bit. (Pretend you’re a scared dog with its tail between its legs.)
• Keep the abs tight and bend the forward knee until you feel a stretch at the front of the hip on the same side as the back foot.
—WENDY BATTS, Sharecare.com expert, Fitness Expert, Master Instructor, National Academy of Sports
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