Hip Flexor Injury Exercises
This article continues on from part one of this mini-series and should help you put everything together and create a routine to follow to prevent hip flexor injuries.
Hip Flexor Injury Prevention Routine
You should incorporate hip flexor strengthening into your regular strengthening routine 2-3 times a week. When we are training for prevention, we need to train for different circumstances that we face in training that put us at risk.
When you are fatigued at the end of a long training session, you are very susceptible to a hip flexor injury. To lessen the chances of injury, your prevention training should incorporate endurance training.
The other main risk of injury is in maximum explosive actions that you perform when jumping or sprinting that are likely to cause a hip flexor strain. To prepare for these, you need to increase your maximum input, in other words, you’ll be “training for strength”.
What does all this mean? We want to have a combination of endurance and strength exercises to develop hip flexor strength.
“Endurance” – For 15-20 reps:
- Bicycle Sit-ups
- Resistance Band Work
“Strength” – For between 3-6 reps
- Hanging Leg Raises – Add weight if needed
Lying Leg Raises and V-Ups
Using the list above you can create your own custom training plan based on your personal needs (Note that “Lying Leg Raises and V-Ups” can be either type of exercise depending on your level).
The hip flexor strengthening the part of your workout should look like this:
- 3 sets of 15-20 reps of an “Endurance” Exercise with 30-60 seconds rest in-between
- 3 sets of 3-6 reps of a “Strength” Exercise with 2-3 minutes rest in-between
Whether you are doing a strength or endurance exercise always perform the movement safely and in control, this is the most important part of injury prevention. If you experience any hip flexor pain, stop your workout and re-evaluate later after applying the P.R.I.C.E. procedure.
When running or training for a sport you ALWAYS need a proper warm-up complete with dynamic stretching or you risk having a hip flexor injury. A warm-up should be an easy jog to circulate blood to the appropriate parts of your body; once you have warmed up the most important thing you need to do is dynamic stretching. For the purposes of this article, we will look at dynamic hip flexor stretching. After the training session makes sure to do a cooldown and perform hip flexor stretches.
A well-known hip flexor stretch for any sport is running with high knees and having quick feet. This helps to put the hip flexor through a game-type range of motion without any of the added force required in explosive movements.
For anyone who plays soccer at any level, leg kicks are an absolute staple because of their effectiveness. To do them simply put your leg through a full “kicking” motion as smoothly as possible. You should try to get into a rhythm where you take 3 steps in between each kick with alternating legs.