Your hip flexors are located on your upper thighs just below your hipbones. These muscles allow you to bend at the waist and to lift your knees. Stretching your hip flexors prevents both hip and lower back pain.
Getting in the Starting Position
1Lower yourself down on your knees on top of an exercise mat. Rest your bottom on your heels, and prop yourself up on you toes on the mat.
2Lean forward on your palms to support your body weight.
3Lift up your left knee and rest the sole of your left foot on the floor. Your left knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle, and your left foot should be directly beneath your left knee as it rests on the mat. Your right knee will still be resting on the floor, and the toes of your right foot will still be in contact with the mat.
4Lift your palms off the floor and straighten your back slowly until your upper body is upright.
5Place your left hand on your left leg. This placement will provide you with added stability.
6Place your right hand on your right hip. This will prevent you from bending at the waist.
Performing the Exercise
1Exhale, bend your left knee and lean forward. Bend your knee until you feel your thigh come into contact with the back of your calf. Use your left foot to support your body weight while keeping your back straight. Tighten your abdominal muscles to keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
2Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, breathing comfortably. You will feel the stretch in your upper right thigh.
3Inhale and return to your starting position. Push off of your left foot, and keep your abdominals tight at your upper body becomes vertical.
4Repeat the exercise with your left knee on the mat and your right leg extended at a 90-degree angle.
- If you don’t own an exercise mat, then you can place a folded towel beneath the knee that you’ve placed on the floor. This will provide both comfort and support.
- Those with balance problems or knee pain should be particularly cautious when performing this stretch.
- Injury may occur if this stretch is performed incorrectly.
Things You'll Need
- Exercise mat or folded towel