Time to talk more hip flexors. I’m sitting here typing this in full prep mode for Cinco de Mayo. I know its still over a week away but I have to see if my sombrero still fits. It does by the way. But back to today’s main guest, the psoas, or more commonly known as the “hip flexor.” It is actually one of a handful of muscles that assist to help flex your hip. Its a very important motion and is actually a large motion. This is important because a muscle that helps produce a large motion needs to be very strong. This is why Ashley has laid out a series of hip flexor strength exercises on our social media feed, and it actually prompted this post. Shes done a great job outlining some strength work for this motion, so lets unpack it a bit.
If you listened to my Facebook Live post, I already broke this down a bit. But it’s important to understand that hip flexion is a primary motion of the leg. And it sometimes needs to be done very forcefully or quickly. If you walk then you engage in hip flexion often and if you participate in any recreational athletics then chances are you perform hip flexion quite forcefully and with some rapid succession. The best example I can think of is running or sprinting. Think of how many times you lift your thigh or bring it forward quite quickly. Its easy to conceptualize this hip flexion in athletics, but even in every day life with walking or going up a flight of stairs you have to lift your thigh up. Anyone who has ever strained this muscle appreciates just how often it engages. I’ve certainly been there, done that. Now that we see how frequent this motion occurs, its time to segue into the second part of this post, how to maintain that motion to execute it well. After all, thats always the name of the game no matter what the body part we’re talking about.
Why do we need to continuously strengthen muscles? The simple snarky answer is that we have to because we also always have to brush our teeth, or change the oil in our car engine. The more compelling answer is that its smart basic maintenance for machines. And our bodies are machines first and foremost. We are moving parts controlled by a computer and sometimes parts break down or need to be serviced. I get the question often “how much maintenance work are we supposed to do?” And my answer is always “The more you want to use your body, the more you have to maintain it.” Its never the fun or exciting work, but the most important work rarely is unfortunately.
Thats really the long and short of it. The “hip flexor” is not just one, but it is a group of muscles that assist in bringing your thigh forward and up. And they happen to be fairly large, powerful muscles. As such, it becomes more important to strengthen them, just as it is important to continuously feed an animal that has a high work load and big appetite. While most of the time, people only think of stretching it, we would love to see people use the word strengthen in the same sentence as the hip flexors.
Ashley has done a great job with her strength videos, so please check them out and let us know what you think!