There are clear indications that your hip flexor muscles are tight. One obvious sign is that the muscles feel tight and difficult to stretch. However, there are other signs to look out for. Tight hip flexors can also cause issues in other areas of your body, such as:
Tightness or aching in your lower back, particularly when standing
Poor posture and difficulty standing up straight
Neck tightness and pain
Pain in the glutes
You can perform a hip flexor test to determine if your hip flexors are tight. Lie on a table or bench on your back, bring one knee up towards your chest and hold it there. Let the other leg relax over the edge of the table. You should be able to fully extend your thigh so that it is parallel to the floor and bend your knee to 90 degrees without your thigh rising up. Difficulty with these movements indicates tight hip flexor muscles.
One of the main causes of tight hip flexors is prolonged sitting. When you sit for extended periods, the iliopsoas shortens, leading to tightness in the hip flexors. Tight hip flexors can cause pain, injuries, and limited mobility, so it’s essential to take a few minutes daily to stretch them out. Here are some stretches that can help:
Pigeon pose: start on your hands and knees, bring your right knee forward and bend it under your chest, pointing your leg to the side. Extend your left leg behind you and lay on top of your bent knee as much as possible. With tight muscles, it may take some time to perform this stretch fully, so go slowly.
Butterfly stretch: sit on the floor with the bottoms of your feet together, and let your knees fall outward to stretch your hips. For an extra stretch, gently push down on your knees.
Low lunge: perform a deep lunge with your right leg forward, let your left knee rest on the ground and straighten it as much as possible. Put your palms flat on each side of your right foot, raise your left arm above your head, and lean to the right. Hold for a few seconds, and then repeat on the other side.