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Exercises for Hip Flexor Tendinitis
Hip flexor tendinitis, also known as iliopsoas tendinitis, refers to inflammation of the iliopsoas muscle. According to The Stretching Institute, this condition is largely caused by repetitive hip flexion, often observed in running and jumping. The most effective way to treat this condition is to stretch the muscles and tendons in the hip region, and to strengthen the abdominal muscles that assist the hip flexors in their work, advises Dr. Pribut who owns Podiatric Medicine and Surgery in Washington, D.C.
Stand next to a wall or counter for stability and hold onto it with your left hand. Reach back with your right hand as you lift your right heel toward your buttocks. Keeping your torso erect, grab your ankle with your hand and gently pull your heel until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds. Lower your right foot and then perform the stretch on your left leg.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Place a folded towel on the floor and kneel on it with your right knee. Place your left leg in front of you with the knee bent and foot flat on the floor. You can place your hands on your forward leg for stability. Pull your belly button into your spine and contract your core. Keeping your back and hips straight, lean forward to shift more of your body weight onto your left leg. Continue forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your right hip and thigh. Hold here for at least 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat the stretch.
Lie face-down on the floor. Lift yourself up so that your weight is distributed on your elbows and toes, with your elbows directly below your shoulders. Pull your belly button into your spine; contract your core and your glutes. Ensure that your back is straight, your buttocks are down and your hips aren't sagging. Your body should be in a straight line from your neck to your heels. Hold the plank position for 20 to 45 seconds before relaxing. Perform this two to three times.
Lie on your right side and use your right hand to push your body upward so that you're balancing on the side of your right foot and your right palm. Your right arm should be fully extended, your hips and feet stacked. Pull your belly button into your spine, contract your core and keep your back straight. Be sure not to let your hips sag; your body should be in a straight line from your neck to your feet. Hold this position for 20 to 45 seconds. Relax down to the floor and switch sides. Perform two to three repetitions per side. If this exercise is too difficult, you can change the position to use your elbow rather than your hand.
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms relaxed at your sides. Pull your belly button into your spine and contract your core. Push through your heels to slowly raise your hips off the floor until they're lined up with your shoulders and your knees. Hold this position for two to three seconds and then lower back to the floor. Complete two sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
Explore In Depth
- Dr. Pribut's Running Injuries Page: Iliopsoas Tendonitis
- Mayo Clinic: Hip Flexor Stretch
- Chang WD, Lin HY, Lai PT. Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27(3):619–622. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.619
- Brumitt J, Matheson JW, Meira EP. Core stabilization exercise prescription, part I: current concepts in assessment and intervention. Sports Health. 2013;5(6):504–509. doi:10.1177/1941738113502451
- Javadian Y, Akbari M, Talebi G, Taghipour-Darzi M, Janmohammadi N.Influence of core stability exercise on lumbar vertebral instability in patients presented with chronic low back pain: A randomized clinical trial. Caspian J Intern Med. 2015;6(2):98–102. PMID: 26221508
Jen Weir writes for several websites, specializing in the health and fitness field. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Montana State University, is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and maintains a personal trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.