Let's face it, we are chronic sitters. The human race has been sitting down for longer periods of time more and more recently, due to, you guessed it, computers. According to John Hopkins Medicine, since 1950, sedentary jobs have increased by 83%. Sitting for prolonged periods of time tightens the hips and can lead to pain as well as other potential problems.
Hip pain doesn't discriminate though, and although sitting can be the main perpetrator, hip flexor overuse injuries in sports are also contributors. No matter if you sit at a desk all day or you are the star player on your soccer team, hip mobility is essential to proper function and injury prevention in your daily life.
Benefits of the Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
The kneeling hip flexor stretch is best used in your stretching routine before exercising. This stretch targets the hip flexor, creating better flexibility in that area which helps to:
Reduce back pain
Improve athletic performance
Lower risk of injury
All you need is an exercise mat! However, In this example of the kneeling hip flexor stretch, we are using a resistance band attached to a fixed post, which you can makeshift in your own space, or utilize at a gym, but don't worry, you can do this stretch without those things.
How to Perform the 3D Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
The 3D version of this stretch differs in the sense that it works through all three planes of motion: sagittal, frontal, and transverse. Check out our other blog post that details each plane of motion as well as how to perform multiplanar squats! Multiplanar exercises are important for balance, range of motion, function, and injury reduction. To perform the 3D kneeling hip flexor stretch, start by looping your resistance band around a fixed post and put your leg through the band, letting it rest under your glute as you take a kneeling position with one leg. Maintain as much tension in the band as comfortable, and square your hips. If you aren't using a band, just get into the kneeling position, and remember to use an exercise mat so as to not hurt your knees!
First, let's start stretching in the sagittal plane with overhead drivers. Drive your hips forward while lifting your arms with straight elbows to feel that stretch in your hip flexor. Lower your arms and pull your hips back to their original position to complete the repetition, then repeat 10 times for a full set.
Now, let's stretch in the frontal plane with low drivers. Reach your right arm out to the side, staying parallel with the floor, while dropping your left hip. Repeat the same steps, switching sides, and complete 10 repetitions.
Stretch deeper into the frontal plane with a bigger driver. Performing the same hip swinging movement as before, reach your arms up and over to the opposite side to lengthen the stretch, feeling it in the side body.
Lastly, we are stretching in the transverse plane. Start by reaching an arm straight out in front of you and then retract your elbow back, twisting your body at the same time. Try out some twists with higher reaches and then lower reaches to get a full stretch.
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Ariela Liberman is a Marketing Associate and a staff writer for Fit Societe, with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies. Born and raised in San Diego, she is a Southern California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness.
Medically Reviewed By: Scott Ryan, BS, CSCS, CF-L1, CF-W, BFRC, a professional coach who specializes in Applied Functional Science, Strength and Conditioning, CrossFit L1, and Olympic Lifting. He attended New England College in New Hampshire obtaining a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis on Biomechanics. He has a passion for injury prevention and coaching, as he was a collegiate athlete who suffered sports injuries. His goal is to get athletes back to optimal shape as well as prevent future injuries.