The Best Stretch for Your Hip Flexors – The “Couch Stretch”Posted on by HWestbrock
Over the years we have used this stretch a lot for soccer players and many other athletes that are coming off hip flexor and quad strains. It is a must for every developing athlete to strengthen this area to help avoid injury and help with speed development as well as more power in the kicking motion. This stretch will also help open up the hips after sitting for long periods throughout the day.
This stretch focuses on your quads and hip flexors – some call it the “couch stretch”. Here are the basics. Start on your hands and knees with your feet facing the wall. Lift up one leg, point the foot to the ceiling, and drop the knee about 4 inches from the wall or couch. The closer the knee is to the wall, the more difficult (intense of a stretch) it is; the farther from the wall, the easier it is. Once you have placed your knee away from the wall, the toes and top of the foot should be resting against the wall – if this is painful for the top of your foot, place a rolled up towel or mat underneath the foot/ankle. Once in this position, SLOWLY bring the other leg up into a lunge. Make sure that the lunged leg is in a comfortable position and the knee is over the ankle (not past the toes). From here, kick the foot into the wall to contract (resist) the muscles on the front of the leg (quadriceps) – this is like doing a leg extension at the gym.
As you kick into the wall or couch, use your other leg to push your body back to stretch the quads. As you go back, be sure to tuck the glutes under (the opposite of sticking your butt out) in order to increase the stretch. Move back and forth for one minute and try to get 5-6 movements complete within that minute.
Hint: As you go back to the wall, the knee that is down should feel like it is driving into your chest like a “high knee‟ exercise. Let us know if you have questions about this “resistance stretch” as this has helped many of our athletes and we hope it helps you.
Stretching the hip flexors is a great way to help with rehab or great for preventing anything from becoming a problem for that area. Should you have an injury that is not responding with this stretch call Premier Sports and Spine Center today and our Sports Chiropractic Physicians will be happy to get you back in the game!
Christopher Dean DC, CCSP, CSCS, FMT, EMT