One Stretch for Better Flex(ors)

If there is one stretch to do everyday, it is the kneeling quad/hip flexor stretch. As little as 2 minutes per leg, once a day will help to relieve back pain and improve posture.

The problem is that the human body was not designed to sit as much as we do today. From driving to work, to sitting at a desk and lounging on the couch, we spend the vast majority of our day in a seated position. Every time we sit, we shorten our hip flexors, which when we then stand upright, pull the pelvis into anterior tilt. This places stress on the low back and without correction, can lead to chronic pain.

An easy solution is to mix in the kneeling quad/hip flexor stretch everyday. Kelly Starrett, the author of “Becoming a Supple Leopard,” recommends performing this stretch for 2 minutes per leg, for every 30-minute period that you remain seated. So if you sit at your desk for an hour without standing up, then you should stretch each leg for 4 minutes to return length to the hip flexors.

Luckily this stretch can be done almost anywhere. All you need to do is find a chair, couch, wall or physio ball to prop your back foot against. Then maintain good posture and squeeze the glute of the kneeling leg to apply force into the hip. Make sure to take deep breaths and fight through the initial uncomfortable feeling, as the muscles will release as the stretch progresses.

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