Ever get those tight knots in your hip and quad? You’re not alone. If you don’t have the money to shell out for regular deep tissue massages, one alternative is to use a foam roller on your Hip Flexors. Not only does it feel amazing, but it will help you become more flexible, stronger, recover faster and prevent injuries.

How do Foam Rollers Help You?

foam roller for hip flexor

Standard foam roller

Foam rollers, as well as massage, are based on the principles of myofascial release. Around your muscles there is tissue called fascia, which not only holds everything in place, also contains structures like nerves and veins and protects them.

When you run or lift weights you cause micro-trauma to your muscles. Your muscles will heal no problem and get stronger, but sometimes the fascia has a difficult time healing smoothly, which makes it stick together and form ‘knots’. This can create tightness on your muscles and surrounding structures, and be the reason for a restricted range of motion, all the while misleading you into thinking you have tight Hip Flexors.

When you injure your Hip Flexor muscles, you often injure the fascia surrounding it as well, which can cause additional issues. Even if the damaged muscle fully heals, if the fascia damage isn’t addressed you may still experience severe pain in the area.

The Hip is such a complicated joint with the large Hip Flexor muscles in close proximity, that there is a lot of fascia present. Any small knots in this area have an effect that is felt in nearly every movement you do.

Myofascial release is a technique designed to break up these knots and smooth out the fascia [1]. Massage is one way to do this, but foam rolling is a much more convenient and inexpensive way.

How to Foam Roll Your Hip Flexors

It’s really quite simple to use a foam roller. Simply lay on top of it and roll up and down your Hip Flexors. If you reach a painful spot, just stay there in a still position for 30-60 positions. This will start to break up the fascial knots. Below is a video that guides you through the process.

Be aware that if your fascia is in rough shape at the start, it could take a week or so of daily  foam rolling on your Hip Flexors to see great improvements.

Finally, remember that foam rolling should not take the place of regular Hip Flexor stretch sessions, they address two different things. Rolling will help fix up your fascia, while stretching is key for proper muscle length.