If you have back pain, it is important to understand what the hip flexors are, and to stretch them correctly. It you do not take care of them, the pain can only get worse.
Staying seated continuously can cause shortening problems in the muscles of the front of your body. This is never a good thing when it comes to performance or injury prevention. The region that suffers the most? The hip flexors! Both in the superficial and deep tissues.
Most people know that they sit too long during the day. They also know that their hips are shortened because of this. So they think that as these muscles have become short over time, the most effective way to increase their length is to stretch them. But it’s wrong!
Why are some stretching positions bad?
Many coaches like to prescribe the position of the front slit, one knee forward and the other on the ground far behind, in order to stretch the hips. But to force the hips in this position of ultra-stretching, with the spine in over-extension, or even with the tibia placed against the wall, is a wrong way to proceed. Not only does this position hurt (which most people perceive as a good thing), but it is also inefficient and dangerous.
The alternative is to stretch with the rear raised foot. When you stretch, you should maintain a neutral position in the joints and spine, so as to insulate the tissue you are targeting. This stretch position with the knee almost at a right angle allows you to reach a neutral position for the shoulders, hips and spine.
To practice this position, place yourself in the front slit position, knee on the floor, with your thigh and tibia at right angles, and your body at right angles with your thigh. The other leg must also be at a right angle. The thigh is in the prolongation of the bust and the tibia parallel to the ground. You can place a flexible support, a few centimeters under your right knee, to relieve this one. Also, your two legs should be parallel and your back foot at right angles, tip to the ground.
In this position, contract the buttocks, abdominals and top of the chest to stabilize you in a neutral position. Then put both hands on your front knee and make small beats forward by stretching the psoas-iliac. These beats should not be too intense. Practice them around 20 seconds. Then hold the position forward for about 20 seconds. Repeat by reversing the legs.