Tight or weak hip flexors are a common cause of multiple age-related preventable injuries and pain. Most common issues from tight or weak hip flexors are lower back, hip, groin, hamstring and thigh stiffness and pain. There are multiple reasons our hip flexors get tight or weak. For instance; years of sitting at a desk shortening our iliopsoas, sitting in a car, repetitive exercise like running, and the list goes on. The majority of us have ignored our hip flexors as an area of our body to take care of with proper stretching and strengthening. Yet we continue to feel the adverse effects after a long care ride or waking up with either stiffness or pain in our lower back and hips.
Top 5 Symptoms of Tight or Weak Hip Flexors
- Pain or stiffness in your lower back, especially while standing
- Bad posture having a hard time standing up straight, bad posture when you squat rounding your lower back
- Neck stiffness or pain
- Glute stiffness or pain
- Just plain tight, you try to move or stretch your hip flexors and they DON’T move
Test for Weak Hip Flexors:
- Stand upright with one hand against a wall
- Grab your knee with your opposite arm and pull it up towards your chest until it is well past 90 degrees or above parallel with the ground.
- Stand upright with your chest out and your base leg straight.
- Take your hand off your knee and see if you can hold it for 5 seconds.
- If your knee dropped to parallel or lower, you have tested positive for weak hip flexors.
- Make sure you test both your right and left hip flexor.
Test for Tight Hip Flexors: Thomas Test
- Lying on your back on the ground with both legs extended straight
- Pull one knee to your chest as far as possible and tightly hold it there
- Make sure your lower back stays on the ground by holding a pelvic tilt.
- If your bottom knee lifts up off the floor or it pulls at your extended legs groin you have tested positive for tight hip flexors.
- Test both your right and left hip flexor.
Now that you have identified whether you have tight or weak hip flexors you can determine your plan of hip flexor rehab. If you tested positive for weak hip flexors you will need to start a hip flexor strength program and if you tested positive for tight hip flexors you will need to start a flexibility program including both dynamic and static flexibility.
More from Hip Flexor Rehab:
- Top 5 stretches for tight hip flexors
- Hip flexor mobility sequence
- Top 5 hip flexor exercises for seniors
- Best Way to Foam Roll Your Hip Flexor Muscles
Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautions before following any of the exercises from this article and website. To avoid any problems while doing the exercises, it is advised that you consult a medical professional. The responsibility lies solely with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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1. Stand upright with one hand against a wall
2. Grab your knee with your opposite arm and pull it up towards your chest until it is well above parallel with the ground.
3. Stand upright with your chest out and your base leg straight.
4. Take your hand off your knee and see if you can hold it for 5 seconds.
5. If your knee dropped to parallel or lower, you have tested positive for weak hip flexors.
6. Make sure you test both your right and left hip flexor.
1. Test for tight hip flexors with the Thomas Test.
2. Test for weak hip flexors with the knee above parallel hold.
3. Check our blog post to learn both of the tests above.