Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises

Written by Brett Harrop

Updated:

The following hip flexor strengthening exercises are designed to improve strength of the hip flexor muscles (Iliopsoas). You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Begin with the basic hip flexor strengthening exercises. Once these are too easy, they can be replaced with the intermediate hip flexor strengthening exercises. As your strength improves, the advanced exercises can be added to the intermediate program.

Relevant Anatomy for Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises
Figure 1 – Relevant Anatomy for Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises

Hip Flexor Strengthening – Basic Exercises

To begin with, the following basic hip flexor strengthening exercises should be performed approximately 10 times, 3 times daily. As your strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions or frequency of the exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Hip Knee Flexion

Slowly bend and straighten your knee as far as possible pain free, sliding your heel up and down the bed or floor (figure 2). Repeat 10 times provided there is no increase in symptoms.

Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises - Hip Knee Flexion
Figure 2 – Hip Knee Flexion (right leg)

Hip Flexion

Lying on your back, slowly take your knee towards your chest as far as possible and comfortable without pain (figure 3). Then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times provided there is no increase in symptoms.

Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises - Hip Flexion
Figure 3 – Hip Flexion (left leg)


Hip Flexor Strengthening – Intermediate Exercises

The following intermediate hip flexor strengthening exercises should generally be performed approximately 10 times, 3 times daily provided they do not cause or increase pain. As your strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions or frequency of the exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Straight Leg Raise

Begin this exercise lying on your back with one leg straight and one leg bent (figure 4). Slowly lift your straight leg to approximately 45 degrees keeping your knee and toes facing the ceiling. Hold for 2 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times provided the exercise is pain free.

Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises - Straight Leg Raise
Figure 4 – Straight leg raise (left leg)

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Hip Flexor Strengthening – Advanced Exercises

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