The Easy Standing Hip Flexor Stretch

Sydney Video Training 20 Comments

In today’s video you’ll learn one of my absolute favorite hip flexor stretches. I learned about this one from Kit Laughlin, creator of Stretch Therapy, and the best part is that you can do this one just about anywhere you happen to be.

This stretch is both easy and a good challenge. If you have difficulty getting down on the floor, you’ll find it’s easier to get into it. You’ll also discover very quickly that this is a working stretch. That means you’re going to get a great stretch in the front of your hip, but you’re going to work (and strengthen the supporting muscles) in order to get it!

This exercise is also fantastic for improving your balance. I recommend practicing next to a chair or countertop at first so that you have something to hold onto in case you need help with your balance.

I feel the added balance challenge and strengthening components make this exercise ultra effective because you’re getting the benefits of a great stretch plus some amazing strength and balance work at the same time. It’s really a triple benefit exercise!

Remember, this only works when you get the positioning correct. Be sure to pay close attention to the details I show you in the video so that you get the optimal results.

As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate let me know in the comments below!

See you in the studio,
Sydney

Comments 20

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  1. I feel compelled to share how Pilates is changing me – and changing my life. I give great praise to Sydney & Laurel @ Pilates Tonic! Life changing – truly life changing physically, mentally & spiritually! My life is transformed! Lana Wyke

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  2. This is really great! I use this one every day now.
    I’m amazed you post such high quality training videos for free and I really appreciate it!
    Thanks, Sydney!

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  3. Hi,

    Great video. I have got what I think is hip reflexor pain that has made my hip joint very tendor now as well.

    But just on one leg. I am currently training for the London marathon.

    I tried your exercise and I have a question as both legs felt they were being stretched and were shaking – is that normal? Also which leg are you mainly stretching the one that you put behind your body?

    Thanks so much in advance!

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      Hi Rosanna, This exercise is a strength building and balance challenging exercise in addition to being a stretch, which can contribute to a bit of shaking for sure. The exercise targets the back leg as a hip flexor stretch, but if your glutes and hamstrings are tight, it’s completely normal to get a stretch on the front leg too. Thanks for your question!

  4. Thank you. Relief on first try so I know this is something I need to do. Very active guy, marathon runner in the past. Not a small guy, 225, 64 with an extremely tight left hip. Lots of pain when pressing that hollow point at mid hip…feel the tight tendons, this helps. Only ART has reset my hips in the past…when it get tight, it affects my back…too much sports, sitting, stress too I believe. Any other thoughts.

    I do your other hip flexor stretch also, the one with your hands beside your feet. Great also.

    Thank you again..will do a bit every day.

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      Hi Francois, I’m thrilled the hip flexor stretches have been helpful! We’ve got more hip flexor information in the works. Make sure you sign up for email updates so you’ll be notified when it’s posted. Thank you!

  5. Hi Sydney, you are an awesome instructor with deep knowledge of the body. I could not believe that i got immediate relief while doing this flexor exercise only once.
    Kindly tell me as how many repetitions should be done in a day. Thanks.

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      Hi Jitendra, thanks for your feedback. I’m thrilled you found relief with this stretch! In the beginning you can practice this stretch 2-3 times a day. As your body adapts to the stretch and releases tension in the front of your hips you’ll be able to practice the stretch less frequently while maintaining the comfort you created when practicing the stretch more frequently.

  6. Sydney- I tried your 1st 2 hip flexor stretches, the kneeling one and the standing one. I find both are very hard on already painful knees. Kneeling hurts and flexing my knees while standing is too much weight/pressure for my knees to withstand in order to do the stretch properly and derive any benefit from it. Can you help me modify the hip flexor stretch for painful and weak and unstable knees?

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      Hi Jean, I’ve got a video demonstrating a thigh stretch coming up that will be a great precursor for you to try before any hip flexor stretches. In the meantime, if you are able to get onto the floor, you could try lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Place a bolster, or firmly rolled blanket, under your hips and closer to your tailbone. Allow the top of your hips to tip toward the floor. Ideally, your pubic bone will be slightly closer to the ceiling than the top, front of your hips. This should feel like a passive, gentle release in the front of your hips and thighs. Hope this helps! Thanks for your feedback and question.

  7. Hi Sydney
    I had sciatica but now I am left with a limp, I had an X-ray on my hip which showed wear & tear I am under a chiropractor as I am all for natural I don’t take pain meds only tumeric was just wondering what types of stretches I could do to ease the pain and stop the limp. By the way I am 52 years young!

    Thanking you

    Karen

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  8. Hi, I just wanted to ask whether it’s normal to have any sensations of the skin after stretching tight hip flexors? I’ve suffered with very tight hip flexors ever since my right sacroiliac joint slipped out of place. I’ve had manual release before which worked wonders but I didn’t stick to the exercises and most times when I do deep lunges now I actually end up with a very intense throbbing pain in hip flexor and lower pelvis area. I think due to doing 100 miles driving a day they have once again gone very tight as when I get out of the car both sides feel really tight like it’s hard work walking. I did the Pilates hip flexor stretch but noticed a day later that on my right side of pelvis my skin feels sore. Almost as if it’s been grazed but looks normal. Is this anyway related to me stretching my hip flexor when it’s not been stretched for a long time?

    Many thanks

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      Hi Zoe, Soreness in the skin after stretching can be normal and in my opinion sitting for 100 miles daily can contribute to shortened hip flexors and discomfort. The more you can limit prolonged periods of sitting in one position the better. When stretching your hip flexors, go slow and don’t aim for an intense stretch feeling. Focus on keeping your pelvis neutral instead and only going as far in the stretch as you can do so. That said, if your discomfort persists I would suggest having it checked out by a medical professional. Thanks of your question!

  9. After 2 days of horrible pain and no sleep, I tried this standing stretch and can tell there is some relief. New to Pilates and I hurt myself by using hip flexor to raise leg to chair position. Will be revisiting this stretch. Any advice on how to avoid raising leg incorrectly?

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