Does it take you a mile to warm up because of hip stiffness? If so, read on!
Hip flexibility is the secret to opening up your stride for faster, injury-free running.
As a physical therapist, most of my patients struggle to stretch their hip flexors properly.
Why does this matter? Tight hip flexors cause compensations & imbalances that will not only slow you down, but also cause injury.
This is one of my favorite stretches for opening up the hips. Give it a try!
How to Do It
Start in a kneeling position with your right knee up. Squeeze your left glute muscle and tighten your core.
Runners who have very tight hips will feel a pull in the thigh immediately.
If you don’t feel a stretch, start gliding forward until you feel a pull through the front of the leg. Hold the stretch for a couple seconds, then come off it. Do both sides.
If kneeling bothers your knee, try using a pad or doing the stretch standing. The exercise is best done after running to get the most mobility.
Want a challenge?
As you glide forward, reach your left arm overhead to the right side. This motion will elongate all your structures through your hips and abdomen.
Avoid These Compensations
As you glide forward, try not to roll your pelvis open.
Don’t arch your back. Runners with tight hips often compensate by letting their low backs do the work. Squeezing your glute and core muscles will lock your low back in place.
Take Home Message
Hip stiffness results in compensations that will slow you down and cause injury. The hip flexor stretch above will open up your stride and increase your hip flexibility for faster, more consistent running.
Correct compensations that are keeping your hips tight so you can run injury-free!
Ready for More Exercises & Injury-Free Running?
For additional exercises like this, check out the RunSmart App!
All of our exercises are designed specifically for runners and focused on preventing injury.
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- Strength workouts for runners to prevent injuries and run faster.
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- Runner-specific yoga so you can feel your best running.
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Start training with RunSmart today!
And Run Injury-Free!