Your healthcare provider may recommend exercises to help you heal. Talk to your healthcare provider or physical therapist about which exercises will best help you and how to do them correctly and safely.
You can begin stretching your hip muscles right away by doing the first 2 exercises. Make sure you feel just a mild discomfort during the stretches and not sharp pain. You may do the last 3 exercises when the pain is gone.
Hip flexor stretch: Kneel on one leg with your other leg in front of you at a 90 degree angle (like a lunge). Keep that your foot flat on the floor. Keep your lower back straight and lean your hips forward slightly until you feel a stretch at the front of your hip. Try not to bend forward as you do this. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times with each leg.
Quadriceps stretch: Stand at an arm’s length away from the wall with your injured side farthest from the wall. Facing straight ahead, brace yourself by keeping one hand against the wall. With your other hand, grasp the ankle on your injured side and pull your heel toward your buttocks. Don’t arch or twist your back. Keep your knees together. Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
Heel slide: Sit on a firm surface with your legs straight in front of you. Slowly slide the heel of the foot on your injured side toward your buttock by pulling your knee toward your chest as you slide the heel. Return to the starting position. Do 2 sets of 15.
Straight leg raise: Lie on your back with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend the knee on your uninjured side and place the foot flat on the floor. Tighten the thigh muscle on your injured side and lift your leg about 8 inches off the floor. Keep your leg straight and your thigh muscle tight. Slowly lower your leg back down to the floor. Do 2 sets of 15.
Resisted hip flexion: Stand facing away from a door. Tie a loop in one end of a piece of elastic tubing and put it around the ankle on your injured side. Tie a knot in the other end of the tubing and shut the knot in the door near the floor. Tighten the front of your thigh muscle and bring the leg with the tubing forward, keeping your leg straight. Return to the starting position. Do 2 sets of 15.
Clam exercise: Lie on your uninjured side with your hips and knees bent and feet together. Slowly raise your top leg toward the ceiling while keeping your heels touching each other. Hold for 2 seconds and lower slowly. Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions.
Quadruped hip extension: Get onto your hands and knees. Draw your belly button in towards your spine and tighten your abdominal muscles. Lift your injured leg behind you and straighten your knee. Lower slowly. Do 2 sets of 15.
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Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2014-10-27 Last reviewed: 2014-05-07
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Hip Flexor Strain Exercises: References
Selkowitz DM, Beneck GJ, Powers CM. Which exercises target the gluteal muscles while minimizing activation of the tensor fascia lata? Electromyographic assessment using fine-wire electrodes.J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2013 Feb;43(2):54-64. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2013.4116.
Niemuth P, Johnson R, Myers M, Thieman T. Hip muscle weakness and overuse injuries in recreational runners. Clinical Journal Of Sport Medicine [serial online]. 2005;15(1):14-21. Available from: CINAHL with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed December 28, 2011.