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Unlock Your Hip Flexors
You train hard, you eat well…it should be enough to keep you in good health and physically and emotionally strong.
Yet, there is a danger lurking in our bodies that’s not only hidden from us… but which even doctors are failing to identify.
It affects nearly everybody, no matter how active or sedentary you are, or how old or young you are.
You see, our hip flexors are the engine through which our body moves. They control balance, our ability to sit, stand, twist, reach, bend, walk and step.
And when our hip flexors tighten it causes a lot of problems in ordinarily healthy and active people, like us.
Before I reveal how most people end up having tight hip flexors yet never realize it, let me introduce myself.
My name is Mike Westerdal and I’m a national best-selling fitness author, sports nutrition specialist, personal trainer, Iron Man magazine contributor and founder of the internet’s longest-standing strength site, CriticalBench.com.
In a moment, I’ll reveal to you the 10 Key Moves you need to loosen your hip flexors and unlock the hidden power in your body.
The impact the hips had on the whole body never occurred to me until I saw the effect of tight hip flexors had on the health and well-being of my wife after she gave birth.
We’re not just talking about a bit of soreness; tight hip flexors are the root cause of problems such as:
Think of the hips as a barometer. The health and flexibility of your hip muscles are an indicator of the strength and health of our whole body.
Your hips are the bridge between your upper body and lower body. They are at the center of your body’s movement.
Sitting within the well of your hip and lower spine is the psoas major muscle, one of the two muscles that makes up the iliopsoas.
It’s often called the "mighty" psoas (pronounced so-az) for the many important functions it plays in the movement of your body.
The muscle attaches to the vertebrae of the lower spine, moves through the pelvis and connects to a tendon at the top of the femur. It also attaches to the diaphragm, so it’s connected to your breathing, and upon it sits all the major organs.
A functioning psoas muscle creates a neutral pelvic alignment, stabilizes the hips, supports the lower spine and abdomen, supports the organs in the pelvic and abdominal cavity and gives you greater mobility and core strength.
Put simply, this muscle is the core of activity in your body. So, when it’s out of balance or if the psoas tightens, there are serious consequences which flow throughout the body.
It may be the most harmless activity known to man, but it’s also one of the biggest dangers to your health.
Even if you’re the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from a tight psoas due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Weakness, shortening and tightness develops in the muscle through sitting for extended periods of time, poor sleep posture and even stress and tension.
Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you’re hammering the core exercises every day? It’s a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles. The real cause is likely to be tight psoas muscles, which cause the lower back to curve pushing out the stomach. When the psoas works properly it pulls the abdomen back tucking the tummy in, giving you a strong, flat stomach.
As the body’s "fight or flight" muscle, your psoas is deeply connected to our natural survival instinct. It instantly tightens in moments of danger to either protect you (in a fetal position) or help you run, fueled by the release of adrenaline. However, if your psoas is constantly tight, it signals to the body you are in constant danger, leading to overworking of the adrenal glands. When this happens, your immune system suffers and your body automatically switches into fat storing mode in anticipation of danger. Can’t shift that weight? Blame your hips also known as your "survival muscle".
Sitting all day causes your hips to become stuck in a forward thrust position. This leads to pulling on the lower back and decreased blood flow and circulation through the hips and to where it matters.
Buried so deep within your abdomen, it’s no wonder identifying it as the root cause of any of your symptoms is difficult to do.
It’s why tight hip flexors are left undiagnosed and untreated for far too long, as physicians look for a simpler explanation.
If you trust so-called experts on Youtube and online, they’ll have you believe it’s simply a case of holding a few static stretches for a period of time to try and lengthen the muscle.
Or rolling around with a tennis ball stuck to your hip (as if that will really make any difference).
It takes more than a tennis ball and foam roller to unlock your hip flexors…and doing it wrong could cause even MORE damage.
If you see how the psoas is attached within your body, it’s buried deep inside your core making it tough to access. It’s a hard muscle to find, let alone train.
Static Stretching Has Its Place – But The Stretch You See Above Is the Best Stretch To Do In The Morning
So it’s little wonder why trying to loosen it requires more than a simple static hip flexor stretch like the one below you’ve probably tried before.
You’ve probably found you’re spending (or wasting) hours of your time stretching this way only to find it’s having minimal effect.
That’s because you need to attack the muscle from a variety of angles using a variety of exercise techniques and modalities in order to "unpack" the muscle in the right way.
If you think of your psoas as a combination safe lock, there are…