Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The hip flexors: who knew?

In my effort to balance my hips and figure out how to re-balance my pelvis I did not start out with any particular muscle groups in mind, but every time Elaine (Elaine Coolbrith, my body worker at Balanced Wellness in Watertown) began to work on my me, among the tightest muscle groups by far were the hip flexors: the iliopsoas, the tensor fascia lata, Sartorius (as well as the adductors, but that is another story!).  

Finally, after about three or four sessions I began to see and understand the pattern staring me in the face: I needed to do much more regular, focused work on my hip flexors if I wanted to re-balance my pelvis and improve my alignment.

With this in mind I have begun a daily practice of hip opening, focusing in particular on the iliopsoas and quadriceps (which, when tight, can strongly counteract any lengthening of the hip flexors!). I've developed a sequence which includes stretches for hamstrings and quadriceps, lunges, and, of course, downward facing dog.  It all culminates in pigeon pose, one of the best ways to stretch all those hip flexors!

Download a pdf of the sequence to use in your own home practice.

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