The “Real” vs. “BS” Hip Flexor Stretch
I for one fall into the camp that static stretching is often over-prescribed; an easy default recommendation for some fitness professionals too lazy to dig a little deeper.
“Tight” hamstrings? Go stretch those bad boys.
“Tight” hip flexors? Better go stretch!
Bad hair day? Go stretch.
I don’t feel static stretching is a complete waste of time mind you. Sometimes (<– key word, sometimes) it plays a crucial role in helping people get out of pain and addressing varying muscular imbalances or postural issues.
That said, in my experience I find many people barking up the wrong tree, treating an instability issue (protective tension) with static stretching.
And even if static stretching is deemed necessary, none of this takes into account the most important – albeit most overlooked – detail.
Performing it correctly.
Take the hip flexors for example. Everyone loves stretching their hip flexors. Weeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Thing is: you’ll rarely see someone do it right. Instead, despite endless efforts – sometimes to the tune of weeks, months, and years of “stretching” – nothing ever changes.
Many people will still point to the same area that feels “tight.”
I’m by no means the first person to point this out: guys like Mike Reinold, Mike Robertson, Dr. Evan Osar, and Optimus Prime have been pointing this out for years. So lets take a look at how to properly stretch the hip flexors, shall we?