Personalizing Pilates' Q&A Blog – by Sherry

October 22, 2011

Hip Flexor Stretch

Good Morning Everyone!

The Toronto Marathon was completed this past weekend and  I have several clients and acquaintances who ran the full or the half marathon.   I want to share a stretch with you that I teach my runners.   It’s also a great stretch to do after you have been sitting for a long period of time.

The hip flexors are a group of muscles that fold the hip.   They pull the leg forward and they all attach at the pelvis or in the case of the psoas muscle, to the vertebrae of the lower back.   When the hip flexors are tight, they can cause lower back discomfort.

I would recommend doing this stretch every day, whether you have gone out for a run or not.

  • Start lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet wide apart (wider than your hips).
  • Reach your arms to the sides
  • Look at the ceiling.
  • Sway both knees to the right (as shown in the photo)
  • Reach your left (top) knee away from you so that the front of your left hip lengthens.  Your left hip will lift up off the mat a bit.
  • Hold for 3 breaths and switch.  Repeat 3 times on each side.

wide knee sway hip stretch

It’s common that one hip is tighter than the other so I recommend holding the stretch longer on that side.

I have a great Pilates for Runners workout available.   It’s a downloadable MP3 iPod workout that comes with photos.   Kathrine Switzer, the first woman who ever ran the Boston Marathon, does the workout and she says its “tremendous”.    Please check it out!

Let me know if you have questions!

Sherry

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