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Your hip flexors are seriously important. As the muscle group at the top of your thigh, they’re responsible for helping you move your lower body. That’s why having issues with your hip flexors is such an issue. It can make movement painful and tense.
If your hip flexors are too tight, or you’ve stretched or torn them, then you’re in the right place. Luckily for you, we’ve collected the best hip flexor strength exercises. These are going to help you. Whether it be by relieving tension or helping to rebuild the muscle.
1 – Seated Hip Flexor
Seated hip flexors are a great exercise that requires nothing but a box or bench to sit on. Despite seeming easy, this exercise can get intense quickly and is great for working out those hip muscles.
To start, sit down with both feet shoulder-width apart flat on the floor. Keep your back straight. Raise one knee upwards, towards your chest. Make sure you’re raising the knee straight, not out to one side. Hold your leg up in this position for a few seconds, then return it slowly to the floor. Repeat this rep as much as you like, and then switch leg.
Seated hip flexors are a great exercise for those just starting with working their hips. It requires no equipment and can range in intensity depending on your limits.
2 – Single Leg Stance
Like seated hip flexors, the single-leg stance is a super simple exercise. With these, you don’t even need a seat, just your legs. The benefit to these over other seated hip exercises, is that you’re also working your glutes. This means that you’re not just helping your hips, but toning up your legs, too. The increased leg strength is also going to help you with more intensive hip workouts.
For your starting position, stand up, keeping your back straight, and both feet shoulder-width apart and flat. Lift the knee you’re targeting until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold this position for around 15 seconds and return it slowly to your starting position. This is one rep. Do as many reps as you need, and then switch the dominant leg.
3 – Standing Knee Drive
Standing knee drives have a bit more of a convoluted setup than other exercises in this list. That being said, it’s great if you want to work your hamstrings as well as your hip muscles.
You’re going to need a heavy, static object – something that isn’t going to move against your resistance. You’re also going to need a resistance band. Loop the band around your object. Face away from the object and loop the band around the ankle of one of your legs. Keep your back straightened and your arms in a neutral position.
From here, simply raise your leg against the band until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold this position, and then slowly return to the start. Repeat this rep about 10 times, swap your leg, and repeat.
4 – Standing Hip Flexion
The standing hip flexion is very similar to the standing knee drive. However, you’re not going to really be working the hamstring with this one. On the other side of this, you’re going to find that it is a much less intense exercise.
The setup is the same as before. Loop your band around a static, heavy object. A TV stand is a good option. Loop the band around your ankle, as well, and stand with your back straight. Keeping both legs straight, you’re going to want to flex your hips forward, slightly pushing your leg forward, too. Hold this position for a couple of seconds and return to starting position. Once again, repeat this process and switch.
5 – High Knees
Staying in the realm of standing knee drives, this is a similar variant that doesn’t require you to use any equipment. You might be familiar with knee-ups. This is a similar exercise, except for the fact that it’s static.
Essentially, you’re doing knee-ups while running in place. Stand up with your back straightened. While standing on one leg, raise the other knee as high as you can. Quickly bring it back to the floor, and at the same speed, repeat the process with the other leg. Essentially, you’re trying to jog on the spot except with lifting your knees higher.
This can be an intense exercise on your cardio system and can burn some serious calories. While this means that the exercise isn’t going to be for everyone, it does have some additional benefits.
6 – Dumbbell Sumo Squat
The lack of squats on this list is no accident. Squats are primarily used to target the glutes and can be incredibly fatiguing. That being said, we can’t overlook the benefits that sumo squats have on your hip muscles.
You don’t want to go too heavy with the dumbbell here. Pick one that gives you a good workout, but still leaves you feeling tired at the end. Hold it to your chest with both hands. Turn your toes out and stand with your legs a bit wider than shoulder-width apart.
From here, bend yourself into a squat, before pushing yourself upright again – just like any squat.
It’s not a flashy exercise, but it is simple and effective.
7 – Explosive Sprinter Lunges
Now here’s an exercise that is definitely going to get the blood pumping. Explosive variants of anything are intense, but that effect is amplified here. You’re going to be working against your body weight. This means a boost to your cardio, hip muscles, and your glutes.
To get into your starting position, stand straight with your feet hip wide apart. Then step back with one foot into a semi lunge position. Push with your other foot, lifting yourself off the ground and the other knee up to your chest. Land back on the non-focused knee and step back immediately to do another rep.
You’re not going to want to do many of these per set, due to the difficulty involved with the exercise. However, if you can manage them, explosive sprinter lunges are a great all-round exercise to add to your lineup.