My first blog post will be about famous hip flexors, what they are , what they do and who is more likely to get in trouble with them..
First of all, what is a hip flexion?
The movement of the body occurs at the joints, hip flexion will occur at the hip joint, and it will involve movement that bends a joint, or brings bones closer together. We flex our hips when we walk, run, ride a bicycle, sit, or just about every time we bring our knees closer to the chest.
One muscle would probably struggle to perform this action , hence why we have a whole bunch of hip flexors working hard to perform this action!
Lets meet , Rectus femoris (on of the quadriceps muscle) gluteus medius (anterior fibers), gluteus minimus (we sit on our gluteus!), Adductor magnus, longus, brevis & pectineus - assist hip flexion (these 4 are our inner thigh muscle), Tensor fasciae latae – small and superficial muscle located laterally on our hips, Sartorius – longest muscle in our body, most of it's portion you can find on your inner thigh, psoas major and iliacus – called together iliopsoas (known to butcher as “tenderloin”) psoas major is located deep to abdominal contents, and runs from lumbar vertebrae to lesser trochanter (little bump on your thigh bone - femur) iliacus is located deep to abdomen in the iliac fossa. Though several muscles contribute hip flexion, the two primary players are your iliacus and psoas major.
So when your therapist tells you next time – wow your hip flexors is/are tight... ask which one!! You don’t want to stretch the one what doesn't need stretching..
In modern life we tend to spend several hours a day sitting on our bottoms, either at the computer desk or sofa, we then constantly and for prolonged time have our hip flexor in shortened position. Short hip flexors can create compensatory changes in the way that the joints, muscles, and ligaments in your pelvis and lower back function.
There is few ways of helping our not very happy and tight hip flexors to become loose again, good massage, stretching (including foam rolling) acupuncture, yoga and exercises.
It s also very important to keep our core/abdominal muscles as well as gluteus maximus strong, to take a workload from hip flexors!
The strengthening of these core and gluteus muscles provides a muscular balance for the pelvis to work. Eq very tight psoas and iliacus can cause lower back pain, by excessive anterior tilt of the pelvis. Stronger core and gluteus muscles can counteract this excessive anterior tilt and take a whole a lot of load from lower back.