While there are many different Hip Flexor exercises you can do, a lot of them require expensive machines designed for Hip Flexor strengthening. If those aren’t an option for you, an alternative is to use resistance bands.
Why Train Your Hip Flexors with Resistance Bands?
We’ve already seen that resistance bands are much more affordable, but they are also much more practical in many situations. Going on trips, working out quickly during a work day and having the luxury of not having to drive to the gym are all benefits. Another great feature of working with bands is that they allow you to mimic natural motion very closely.
One concern of most people is that many bands do not provide enough resistance. This is where your workout equipment selection is very important. Look for the heavy duty bands, that will look similar to the ones pictured below.
Depending on the exact brand you’re looking at, the colors may mean different things. In general the strength of the band from weakest to strongest is:
It will take a long time to progress up to the silver strength bands.
Now let’s get to the actual exercises.
1. Hip Flexor Extensions with Bands
This is a primary Hip Flexor exercise that mainly works the muscles in the Iliopsoas – the Iliacus and Psoas. Attach a band to your ankle and the other side to a stationary post of some kind. While leaning forward, like a sprinter, lift your knee as high as you comfortably can, and then lower it in control. You’ll notice that you need to keep your foot dorsiflexed (toes pulling towards shin) with your ankle locked.
2. Straight Leg Raise
Another great exercise to work your Iliopsoas and a few surrounding muscles is the straight leg raise. As you might have guessed, you will be maintaining a straight leg while raising it away from your body. Attach the band around your ankle and the other side on a stationary object. This exercise can be done either lying down or standing up, it’s your choice.
3. Adductor Leg Raise
Remember that the Hip Flexor is made up of many muscles. Muscles like the tensor fascia latae (TFL) are involved in adduction movements. To perform this, attach the band to your ankle as in the other exercises, but this time you are going to move your leg sideways away from your body. Slowly go out and then come back to center with your ankle slowly and in control.
4. Advanced Hip Flexor Extensions
This is a difficult exercise that you should build up to over time. Lie face down on the floor or a mat if you have one. Wrap the band around one of your ankles while your Hip Flexor is stretched as far as possible. While holding onto the band with your hands, slowly push down on the band with your foot using your Hip Flexor. This exercise, unlike the above ones, target the strength of the upper portion of your Iliopsoas – an area that is often weakest.
Combine these four Hip Flexor exercises with bands and you will see your weak hip flexors disappear.