What to do for tight hips

14 March 2021
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Tight hip flexors are a common issue we see in clinic.

With tight hips people commonly look for one of two reasons to why they are tight:

– Is it tight because it’s short and so we should stretch it?


– Is it tight because it’s weak so we should strengthen it?

This brings us to an important point. 

The psoas muscle plays a role in hip flexion but hip flexors shouldn’t purely be judged off the muscles action but should be judged from the function of the muscle, which for the Psoas is stability of the lumbar spine.

The psoas has a broad origin that is from all the segments of your lumbar spine. 

Your lumbar spine has no structural stability unlike for example its neighbour, the thoracic spine. So the lumbar spine relies on muscles to stabilise it.

What can we learn from this? 

Rather than attempting to fix your tight psoas by really pushing the muscle into a stretched position or by just directly strengthening it, a different line of attack can be taken by focusing your time on stabilising the lumbar spine and your core muscles. 

To really increase the effectiveness when you try to stabilise your lumbar spine and core is focus on resisting force through all three planes of motion for the lumbar spine. These are flexion/extension, lateral flexion and rotation. 

To do this you can integrate the Mcgill big three into your workout or daily routines. 

Attached below are 3 key exercises to target all three planes of motion for core exercises.

If you suffer from tight hips and would like a full functional assessment and us to take give you tailored advice, feel free to contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.

Yours in Health

The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois

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