Hip Flexor Stretches for Better Performance

Mobility doesn't have to hold you back on the field. Learn the hip flexor stretches you need to take your performance to the next level.

Run faster, jump higher and perform better are goals for nearly every athlete. Most think that to achieve them, they must perform strength workouts. This is true, but it's not the only piece of the puzzle.

Strength and power may be the most desirable qualities for an athlete; however, to truly separate yourself from the pack, you need to work on moving your body efficiently. And mobility is nowhere more important than in your hips, specifically the hip flexors on the tops of the front of your legs.

Performing hip flexor stretches on a regular basis is especially important, since most of us tend to do a whole lot of sitting. In a seated position, the hip flexors are shortened. Considering the hours we spend behind desks and in front of computers, you can imagine how tight your hip flexors can get!

Tight hip flexors make it difficult to execute virtually any total-body lift (like Squats and Deadlifts), reducing the effectiveness of these exercises. Tight hip flexors also impair the function of the glutes. The most powerful muscles in the body, the glutes are involved in virtually all athletic movements. You will run slower, jump less high and reduce the velocity of your pitches or throws.

So what are you waiting for? Let's stretch get those hip flexors nice and mobile!

In the hip flexor stretches that follow, you will progress from static stretch variations to more dynamic movements. Perform the stretches prior to your workout but after you have gone through a dynamic warm-up.

Hip Flexor Stretches

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

This is the most basic variation of a hip flexor stretch.

Sets/Duration: 2x20 seconds each side

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch With Foot Supported

This takes the first stretch up a notch. Form a straight line from the knee through the shoulder.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Sets/Duration: 2x20 seconds each side

Wall Hip Flexor Mobilization

Now that you have a few hip flexor stretches under your belt, make the movements more dynamic. Mobilizations against the wall require more body awareness and core control to maintain solid posture. Make sure to master the previous two stretches first.

Sets/Reps: 2x10 each side

Overhead Lunge

This may not look like a hip flexor stretch, but its dynamic nature provides a fantastic stretch, while improving your overall balance and stability. To get the best stretch as possible, hold the bottom position for a second.

Sets/Reps: 2x8-10 each side

Don't let your mobility hold you back on the field. Stretch your hip flexors and be a better athlete tomorrow!

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock