Tight Hip Flexors | Flexibility Exercises & Stretches to Relieve Lower Back Pain

So, you are affected with tight hip flexors & low back pain right?

I have strained my hip area before whilst working out and playing football, so make no mistake; is a fairly common problem. Although the pain can be extreme, there are some strengthening exercises that will help to ease the discomfort.

Sometimes misunderstood as hamstrings, it is a common problem in human body and affects certain individuals more than others including runners and weightlifters, where they may have strained or even torn their tendons and not warmed down adequately.

Make no mistake...you should not confuse tightness with weakness!

In this article, you are going to know enough about tight hip flexors so that you get a bit of relief for those tight muscles.

What Causes Hip Flexor Tightness?

So, what is the problem with tight hip flexors?

It is important that you understand about hip flexor tightness before getting deep into the article. They say that if you don’t understand a problem, you will never be able to solve it.

So in simple non-medical terms, stiff flexors are a problem that occurs in your hip area and makes you lower body part weak and dysfunctions more of your muscles at that area.

It comes with a lot of limitations and therefore, it is important that you address this issue as early as possible. 


Sitting behind a desk too much is a sure fire way to have your muscles waste away & make what is left ache until fixed.

Unfortunately our modern lives have all kinds of amazing wonders, but to pay for them we need to have a job.

It also just happens that most of us have jobs whereby we sit behind a desk all day, sometimes eating out lunch at our computers, (I know this because I have been there my friends)!​

But sitting for long periods of time is highly damaging to our bodies and tight hip flexors are just 1 side effect of the "sitting disease".

Tight Hip Flexor Fix: The Ultimate at Home Cure

Treatment to Reduce Severe Pain

There are many ways that you can loosen up your tight hip flexors at home, one of which being the exercise program: Unlock Your Hip Flexors.

  • Exercises for coxa bursitis
  • Rotational stretches
  • Supine stretch examples
  • How to improve your hip flexor mobility
  • External rotation exercises
  • Much, much more

How Do You Know If You Have Tight Hip Flexors | Diagnosis & Location

Your hip flexor muscles are are a group of muscles that are located in and around your coxa joints.

There are various tell tale signs that indicate that you may have this issue.

It is vitally important to check with your doctor if you feel as though you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Joint pains in your legs, lower back or hips that is constant & unrelenting
  • Pain in hip when walking & general inhibited movement when squatting
  • A feeling that they are "locking up" or "popping"
  • Poor posture
  • Not being able to sleep properly due to poor breathing patterns
  • No real "vigour" in your day to day life
  • High levels of stress and anxiety
  • Issues with digesting your food properly
  • Lowered immunity leading to many health problems
  • Poor circulation
  • Severely reduced sex drive
  • No explosive force when working out - Mainly with running, squats and other quad and pelvic exercises
  • Sharp joint discomfort after sitting
  • Glute/ buttock/ groin pain
  • Lordosis or other spine curvature symptoms
  • Constipation (possible issue due to posture)
  • Sciatic or other nerve issues
  • Beginning of scoliosis

Thomas Test to Diagnose this Condition (Simple)

There is a test called the Thomas test which you can do to find whether you have flexor tightness or not, it is also a good test to work out if you have any kind of inflammation.

At first, simply lie down at a massage table if possible and let your legs hang from the table.

Now take one of your knees up to your chest and try to hold it with both of your hands. Keep it that way and make your other leg straight while it is still hanging.

Now, if the knee of your open leg is above the table then there is a chance that you have tight hip flexors. Obviously, this is not the only indicator and you will obviously have to consult a doctor to get a confirmation but that is how it works.

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Exercises Affected

There Are some specific sports that are affected with this posture problem, partly due to weakness or range of motion; but also to do with recovery times involved.

  • Running
  • Squatting
  • Rowing
  • Football
  • Walking
  • Ab/ core workouts (weakness in this area will affect you)
  • Tennis
  • Calf lifts
  • Swimming
  • Yoga (not a sport but involves stretching and movements that can be taxing)
  • Handstands
  • Hockey
  • Horse riding
  • Golf

If you find yourself involved in any of these sports, we highly suggest and recommend that you check out this article.

Can Stiff Flexors Make You Look Fat?

Causing belly pooch?!?

This may sound like a peculiar subsection to include here!

However it was actually one of the questions that we got asked when  we sent out an email to our subscribers to ask what subject they would like us to research for them...this question came back a surprising amount!!!

Well, we did our research and it turns out that some people are worried about this because of the way that this entire coaxial region is connected to our core.

There is an unfortunate side effect of ​having this problem, it's called "Bulging Belly Syndrome".

Essentially, as a result of a curvature formed that is so locked and stiff, that it actually forces your core to create a curvature.

It is thought to be tight psoas muscles, that makes your low back to curve which results in it pushing out your stomach.

If these muscles are working properly, they should pull your abdomen back in which reduces the bulge and helps to form a flat belly.

Lower Back Pain

Hip flexor soreness will come with a lot of issues.

For example, you might face hip flexor pain which is also known as tight hip flexors low back pain. The good news for you is that there are methods that you can use to get rid of this condition.

One of the most common methods is exercise as exercises strengthen entire joint ares very sufficiently which can help to improve a raft of other back related issues including reducing some other issues.

Apart from that, there are some best stretches that you can perform which will also show you better results. Let’s get more information on these.

Tense Flexor Exercises & Unflexal Stretches

Getting the correct movements and stretches for this condition, requires more than simple static stretching; you need a serious mobility drill to get these muscles activated.

These stretches that help lower back pain are actually great for all aspects of your life and not just for the rehabilitation of this specific medical injury.

However they usually find themselves more suited as a great ​running treatment.

That isn't to say that static stretching is useless, I will mention 3 fantastic examples below that will help to strengthen your hip stabilizer muscles, whilst also being wonderful movements to compliment your general health.

However I will begin by mentioning some of these exercises for injured flexors that will help to align your hips and stretch your joints in such a way to dramatically reduce the related symptoms.

PNF Stretching

PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), is a method that activates a specific muscle in order to relax the muscles surrounding your joints.

This is beneficial because relaxing a stiff muscle means less stiffness and less tightness means more movement.

Dynamic Stretching

Essentially it is exactly what you might imagine it to be... you activate your muscles around a particular joint by moving it through its full range of motion.  

Rotator stretches are a great example of this.

This can lead to an increased range of motion around your joint, making it more flexible and more importantly; improving circulation.

Core Stability

Having a stable core is important for your overall health in more ways than you might imagine!

These exercises target all of your muscles in your core by utilizing movements that activate every part in 3 dimensions.

By strengthening your core muscles, you will find that many of your connecting joints become more supple and easier to move.

Mobility Exercises

This type of exercise targets the actual range of motion of your joints which helps to improve their function. 

Fascia Stretching

This is quite a unique technique, whereby you will aim to loosen and lengthen your tissues and muscles surrounding your fascia . 

Muscle Activation

As a result of our modern, sedentary lifestyle that usually involves sitting behind a desk or starting at a phone all day, we have developed some bad posture habits.

This can cause a whole range of issues with our bodies. In fact just looking at some Forward Head Posture symptoms shows us how our spinal health is such an massive factor in determining how healthy we are.​

By learning how to move your muscles more efficiently, ​you will find that many previous health problems you had will slowly disappear. 

Some Example Stretches

There are around 12 best stretches that you can go for if you want to get reduce your muscle ache.

These are more than just exercise stretches, and more akin to a type of therapy that will help you to relax and open your entire joint & tendon area.

NOTE: You shouldn't need any specific rehab unless your injury is severe and you are having trouble in normal everyday movements.

We will mention the easier ones here to make you do them right now!

Butterfly Stretch

The first one that we recommend is the butterfly stretch. It is a simple one to perform and not only your hip area but also the groin and some other parts of your body will be benefited from this.

To start, simply sit on a plain surface and make sure that your legs are in front of you. The knees should be in a single line.

Now simply bring your feet together and create a clap feeling with two feet. You should sit in an upright position. Now hold your feet with both of your hands and stay like that for around thirty seconds.

That’s it.

You can continue this session at least five to ten times and you will start solving your stiff coxa issues.

Happy Baby Pose

There’s another common stretch that people do for their hip which is called happy baby pose stretch.

The name is funny and the stretch is interesting to go for. In this case, you simply lie down on an even ground and take your legs close up your face.

Now hold your feet area with both hands and try to stay in that position for around thirty to forty seconds.

Do not push it hard and if you are unable to be at that position, you should release your legs immediately as otherwise, you will end up hurting your muscles.

The reason that this is called as a happy baby pose is because kids do this pose when they are happy at a very early age.


Pigeon Pose

Another one that you can perform is called the pigeon pose.

This is a bit harder so if you were never into stretching, you might find this difficult. If you really cannot do this, there is no point in pushing it as we mentioned before, and you can just try any of the other poses and positions, most of them are rotational exercises and will help to release any tightness and other symptoms. 

In this case, you will be sitting on a weird pigeon position where your back leg will be stretched and placed at the back where your front knee is near to your belly.

You will have to place both of your hands to the ground to keep balance. Now simply look up and stay at that position for around thirty seconds.

That’s it!

Fix Your Pain: The Ultimate at Home 30 Second Cure!

There are many ways that you can loosen up your tight hip flexors at home, one of which being the exercise program: Unlock Your Hip Flexors.

It includes:

  • Exercises for coxa bursitis
  • Rotational stretches
  • Supine stretch examples
  • How to improve your hip flexor mobility
  • External rotation exercises
  • Much, much more


No matter whether you go for stretch sessions or for simple workout, you should always make sure that you are not overdoing it.

One common mistake of people who have strained tendons in this area; is that they do not understand the value of being patient and as soon as they come to know about the problem, they start freaking out.

That should not be the case for you and as with everything health related:

  • See your doctor before embarking on anything
  • Take your time, becoming more flexible and healthier is not a race!


Simply try to understand that this is a common problem and if you play along with it, you are going to be able to solve this issue.

Take advice from experienced person and try not to take advice from people who are not well educated about this particular issue.

It is a common problem but is definitely not one of the most popular ones. Therefore, you might not find a lot of knowledgeable people around.

In fact, the gym instructors are also not commonly popular with this problem and that is normal.

If you face a lot of pain, the best idea is to go for a doctor immediately.

You never know whether it is a simple tight hip flexors problem or there’s something else happening! It is always wise if you do not take any chance and go visit a doctor even if it is just to reconfirm.

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  • Susan Uranga says:

    Thanks for finally writing about Tight Hip Flexors, lots o f great infor here !

  • Sam says:

    Yes, tight hip flexors do indeed cause lower back pain.

    Many people suffer this form of back pain.

    Most of the time, people need to stretch these muscles in order to keep them in shape.


    • Harry says:

      Hi Sam,

      This is very true advice. I would go further and say that stretching everyday should be a priority for everyone in the morning.

  • Frederic says:

    Thanks a ton! It is an impressive site 🙂

  • Kimanga says:

    Thanks for writing such an exhaustive article on hip flexors. You’ve made it much easier to understand this elusive primal muscle. Cheers.

    • Harry says:

      Hi Kimanga, You’re welcome and I checked out your content and it is also very useful 🙂

  • Tandy says:

    I must say you have high quality articles here, thank you for posting about the tight hip flexors. I get very bad back pain and recently found out that it is this issue that is causing it.

    • Harry says:

      Hi Tandy,

      Thanks for the comment. Yes it is an little known issue, but doing some of the exercises written here should go a long way in helping. Let me know how you get on 🙂

  • richardilanear says:

    You should learn a lot from Unflexal if you’d like to know how to training good and be more wholesome.

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