Basic Stretches video series by personal trainer, Margie Weiss - Stretch Hip Flexer
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Margie Weiss: My name is Margie Weiss and this is basic stretching. The exercise we're going to do now is for the hip flexor, which is in the front of the hip. It goes hand-in-hand with another stretching exercise that we do, which is called the forward fold, we get that back of the hip area. So, this area is really critical to everybody who does squats, lunges, walks on treadmill, on an elliptical, the hip flexors tend to tighten up, which can give you some back problems. So, it's a real important stretch to do. Now the best hip flexor stretch is done in pairs with the partner, but we're going to do that in another video. If you don't have a partner to push and pull you and put you in the right position, this exercise is pretty darn good. You're going to get up one knee. So, foot has to be beyond the front knee, so you take that foot and slide it forward, just a little bit that way when you bend the leg, notice that the hips tip forward, but the weight of your body is over top the hip flexor, which is this area from the waist right here, is what you're trying to stretch. Keeping in the back nice and straight and the belly in and breathing out you can sink down, so that the weight of the body gets on to that back hip flexor. If you're not feeling it all there, it's probably because this foot is too close in and then you're not going to feel it. So, you've got to really step out on it and think. Now if you want to go to the next position a little bit harder, you're going to take your far arm, if it's your right knee, it's your left arm. So, you're going to reach it straight up in the air, and I'm going to give you three hands position to place. You can take that hand and angle it slightly forwards over the front knee. You're going to feel that, in the outer hip flexor, a little more to the out part of the center of your core. If you take this arm, put it right over your ear and drop directly side ways, you're going to feel it in the main position right and up front of the hip. But if when you take the arm and angle it back just slightly, you're going to feel it just inside towards the midline of your body, and towards your bellybutton. So, any of those three positions, may be tight for you and may be they all are, so you're going to want to stall on each of those positions, you want to breathe so that the muscles relax and you want to hold it, 20 to 30 seconds. If it's too hard on your knees to do this, you can always go up on to the back foot, lifting that back leg up off the ground, and do the same exercise. You've got to really tuck your hips under though, in order for this to work. So, that your hip is pressing forwards and you're leaning to the side. So, again this is for your hip flexor and if you do this exercise, you also want to do the forward fold because that's the opposite exercise.