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Exercises to Strengthen Your Hip Flexors: Guest Post by Tamara Grand

This is a Guest Post from Tamara Grand, our friend, colleague and personal trainer extraordinaire. Tamara lives in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, three children, a ginger cat and a large stash of hand-dyed yarn. She works as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor and enjoys pushing her clients and class participants out of their comfort zones. She’s happiest when they text her the day after a workout complaining about sore arms and legs.

It’s never hip to trip: exercises to strengthen your hip flexors.

Alas, unlike wine, muscular strength does not improve with age. Vino Curls w/ Tamara
From about age 30 onward, we lose strength at a rate of approximately 10% each year. Recent studies suggest that not all muscle groups are equally affected. In women, the loss of hip flexor and hip abductor strength is significantly more pronounced than that in any other muscle group.

The iliopsoas, rectus femoris and tensor fasciae latae (collectively referred to as the “hip flexors”), connect the lower spine and pelvis to the thigh bone, thereby allowing you to bend at the hip (for example, during a sit-up) and to raise and lower your legs (while standing or lying flat on your back).HipFlexion_TGrand

While often the focus of intense stretching (most of us have chronically tight hip flexors from running, cycling, driving, sitting and heck, just engaging in 21st century life), the hip flexors are rarely targeted in strength training programs.

In fact, many of the courses I’ve attended as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor have specifically discouraged the inclusion of hip flexor strengthening movements in both group fitness and on-on-one training settings – “Stretch, not strengthen” being the main take home message.

Ironically, as we get older, the hip flexors are precisely the muscles we need to actively strengthen. They not only help with balance and postural stability, strong hip flexors can also keep us from tripping and falling. The stronger your hip flexors, the more likely you’ll be able to lift your leg to avoid tripping and the fewer the number of steps required to regain your balance during a fall.

Join me as I demonstrate my three favorite hip flexor strengthening exercises. Add them to your current strength training program, aiming for 12 to 15 repetitions of each move per side, two to three times per week.

Strengthen your hip flexors and I guarantee, the only trips you’ll be taking will be to warm, sunny climes!

Don’t forget to stretch when you’re done! Alexandra and Kymberly will be happy to show you the right and wrong way to perform a hip flexor stretch.

Tamara believes that exercise and healthy eating need to be part of everyone’s life and aims to inspire and motivate others by showing them that if she can do it, anyone can. She blogs about fitness, food, family and fiber (knitting fiber, that is) at fitknitchick.com and is always thrilled when you comment on her posts. Please follow her on Twitter @fitknitchick_1.

Photo Credits: Tamara Grand

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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9 Responses to Exercises to Strengthen Your Hip Flexors: Guest Post by Tamara Grand

  1. Owen March 14, 2013 at 4:36 am #

    Hip Flexors are antagonist to the glutes. If they fire the glutes don’t.
    That is why I am a not a big fan of lifting legs with hip flexors. High knee drills and such.
    As the foot cycle around its movement should create the knee lift
    But if you don’t use your glutes when sprinting then you must use your hip flexors.

    Just as people scream triple extension, triple extension should happen because you are doing something,you shouldn’t have to force it to happen.
    Now you can create triple extension via the calf muscle as in doing a calf raise or via the glutes.
    Owen recently posted..Using Stronglite Massage Tables for Your BusinessMy Profile

  2. Elle March 14, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    Great advice, and fun to see you here, Tamara!

  3. Tamara March 14, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    Elle, thanks so much for stopping by and having a read!
    Tamara recently posted..Healthy living and weight loss encouragement | all bets are offMy Profile

  4. Jody - Fit at 55 March 14, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    Always a wealth of info Tamara!!! Many end up with big probs due to hip flexors so very important! GREAT VIDEO!
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted..May I have a Cup of Coffee with that SUGAR PleaseMy Profile

  5. Mary @ Fit and Fed March 16, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Ha Tamara, the evils of sitting and writing! I face the same problem: blogging itself is not very healthy! I spend a lot of time stretching my hip flexors, they need a lot of maintenance that way. I’ve never thought about the possibility of them being weak, I don’t think they are, though.
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted..Ready for Sectionals!My Profile

  6. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast March 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Such an important topic for women… and a great reminder for me. As a runner, I have especially tight hamstrings and hip flexors… I really need to add these to my routine!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Accentuate the PositiveMy Profile

  7. alana jones October 20, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    Great video Tamara. I have sitting job and that too of 9 long hours. To stay fit I only do running but now I am going to try this workout also. Thanks for sharing.

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