Improve your Active Hip Flexion [When was the last time you strengthened your hip flexors?]
Hip flexor strength is extremely important yet it is often overlooked. All too often the hip flexors are blamed for being too tight. BUT have you considered the consequences of the hip flexors being weak? If that's the case, stop stretching that weak muscle and let's strengthen it!
Training hip flexion at end range is especially important for sprinters, hikers, jumpers, punters, cyclists, and hurdlers. Here are a few great drills to help improve your end range hip flexion strength & Activation.
A Study in 2012 by Casartelli et al. found Hip flexor and hip adductor weakness in those with Hip Impingement (FAI). We are not saying weakness here is the cause of the hip impingement, however it is an impairment that is often co-present with hip impingement that must be adressed.
Here are great ways to strengthen the hip:
1.Takes you through the entire motion of the hip: from Flexion -> Abduction -> Extension
-Make sure to keep the trunk straight for this exercise
2. These are both end range lift offs into hip flexion
-Avoid extension of the low back
-To progress this, lean forward towards the leg being worked out
Note: If you cramp don't be concerned. Roll/Stretch it out and get back at it. This will only get easier.
Hip muscle weakness in patients with symptomatic femoroacetabular impingement. By: Casertelli et al. 2011.
Hip flexor muscle fatigue in patients with symptomatic femoroacetabular impingement. By: Cassartelli et al. 2012.