Pilates Exercises for Hip Flexors

by Kathy McKenna
(Westminster, CO USA)

I am curious about the type of Pilates exercises to do for tight hip flexors that are causing me back pain.

I had back surgery 14 months ago and it is much better.

My doctor said my hip flexors are stuck from my primary doctor putting the back surgery off for 5 years and me walking bent forward 6 inches for all that time.

He said that shortens the hip flexors and I need to stretch them first and then strengthen them.

I have osteoarthritis in my knees, the left being much worse than the right. I had shots in them about 2 weeks ago and after 48 hours the soreness was gone.

For the last few days the left knee is back to hurting and it is the worst one. So I'll call my doctor as I don't think I can have another Medrol, corticosteroid shot for a few months. I know I can only have 3 in a year.

What Pilates exercises can I do to stretch the hip flexors as they are making my left hip start to hurt?

My fusions were at L4/L5 and L5/S1. I also have screws, short rods and a plastic cage around that area.


Hi Kathy and thank you for sharing your story.

I have a few pages of helpful exercises for stretching and concurrently stabilizing the pelvic area.

Tight hip flexors are very common as a society who sits much of the time; whether driving or on the computer, etc.

Hip Flexor Exercises.

I really like the Pilates bridging exercise to open up the hip flexors while simultaneously strengthening the glutes, hamstrings, and muscles of the hips.

Extension exercises from a prone position will also be helpful for you to improve your posture and stretch the hip flexors.

Hip and Back Extension exercises.

Best to you!

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Aug 13, 2015
Hip Flexors
by: Katie

Yes you need to lengthen them & your quads but strengthen then other side to take the stress away from them as they will NEVER remain stretched. The other side is the deep stabiliser Quadratus femorus under the butt & the key the engaging your core abs which will also take the stress away from the hip flexors. Don't forget the hip flexors insert at front hip going through the transvers abs to attach at your lower back so the lower back needs stretching too. The deep MULTIFIDUS spine is the one you will target then via the transerse.

It is obvious your quads are dominating as your knees are playing up & when standing you possibly have your weight too far back on heels - gripping the hip flexors & quads. Because you have buttocks behind you the entire mass (hips & butt) needs to centred over ankle joints - best to think of hips over toes

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