The Balance of Hip Flexors and Hip Extensors
Jul 09, 2023
And now, a revitalized classic about the war between flexion and extension:
There are many things in life that just go great together, like peanut butter and jelly, sausage and eggs, shrimp and grits, and Batman and Robin. Ok, that last one is certainly debatable. Batman is way cooler when he is solo. Anyway, there are things in life that just pair well together, like flexors and extensors.
Your body is full of flexors and extensors. They are like the dynamic duo of your joints. They move your joints and give them balance. At least, they should. Sometimes these dynamic duos get imbalanced. An example of this would be tight hip flexors and weak glutes.
Just for fun, your hip flexors are meant to flex your hips, and your glutes are meant to extend your hips. But as a sedentary life would have it, oftentimes, the hip flexors become short and tight, and the glutes fall asleep or forget their job. When the hip flexors are too short and tight, the hips really can’t go into extension; the balance of the hips becomes lost, resulting in many issues like low back pain, achy hips, poor posture, and the walking stride gets impeded and less efficient. So you see, a lifestyle of sitting is no friend to the balance between the hip flexors and glutes.
You might be thinking, “But, Tim, I’m a sitter.”
Hi, my name is Tim, and I’m a sitter, too.
We all are. Sitting is a part of life, and that’s okay. There will be times when we are forced to sit longer than we need or want to; we just don’t want sitting to become a way of life. The good news is that your body is resilient. Even if you sit way more than you should, your body can restore the balance in your hips. All you have to do is intentionally move your body in ways that reset your hips by loosening your hip flexors and waking your glutes.
Here are four “easy,” feel-good ways to restore the balance in your hips:
- Breathe this way:
- Lie on your belly and rest your head on your hands.
- Bend your knees so that your feet are pointing to the ceiling.
- Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
- Breathe in through your nose and try to pull air down into your pelvis.
- Do this for 3 minutes.
- Enjoy the feeling of your hips relaxing.
- Reach for the sky:
- From this same position, take turns trying to “touch the ceiling” with your feet.
- As you lift your foot, your knee and thigh will leave the ground. That’s your glute cramping that you feel. You’re welcome.
- You may also be highly aware of your hip flexor stretching/lengthening. You’re welcome, again.
- Do this for 2 minutes.
- Enjoy stopping after 2 minutes.
GLUTE POWERS, ACTIVATE! https://youtu.be/wog0aS688iI
- Skate Away:
- Get on your hands and knees and perform Speed Skaters.
- Keep your head on the horizon and raise opposite limbs back in the same direction.
- At the top of each movement, pause for a count of 1-1000, 2-1000.
- Do this for 2 minutes.
- Enjoy the invigorating feeling of a woke backside.
Speed Skaters for Strong Bodies: https://youtu.be/E7t6lierLhI
- Elevate Your Roll:
- Get on your hands and feet and perform elevated rolls.
- Really reach high with your leading foot to turn on your glutes and turn off your hips.
- When you have rolled all the way over, drive your feet into the ground and lift your hips as high to the sky as you can.
- At the top of this bridge, pause for a count of 1-1000, 2-1000.
- Do this for 2 to 3 minutes.
- You’re welcome.
How to ROLL in the Air: https://youtu.be/WcNVRQ8PkX0
Do this simple routine every day, and you will discover free-moving hips and better posture. You’ll also probably discover that it’s a wonderful stress reduction routine as well. It only takes about ten minutes, but it counters several hours of sitting.
It’s a great way to reset and restore the balance in your hips between your hip flexors and your hip extensors (your glutes). It’s also invigorating, and it will leave you feeling Ah-mazing.