Let's get a show of hands �♂️, whose hip flexors don’t need a little bit of work? Almost everyone who lifts--including myself--has some sort of hip flexor deficit limiting full hip extension. Why is that so important you might ask? When the hip flexors are limited, it DISINHIBITS the glutes � from working to their full capacity. It's all about the muscle length relationship and active/passive insufficiency.
Tight hip flexors will pull the pelvis into an anterior pelvic tilt, affecting the glutes (and hamstrings) on the opposite side of the pelvis. If you've been following us, you'll know that this anterior pelvic tilt also influences lumbar spine position, moving the spine into extension at end range ❌, which under many circumstances we'd ideally like to avoid.
So…the best way to stretch the hip flexors? By ACTIVELY using the glutes � in the single leg bridge!
✅ Disinhibit the hip flexors through ***RECIPROCAL INHIBITION
✅ "Stretch" into end range hip extension ACTIVELY
✅ Strengthening the weakened glutes on the other side, which WILL be weak and need strengthening if the hip flexors are tight!
This exercise will preferentially target the rectus femoris over the iliopsoas due to the position of the knee into flexion, but you will still get a good stretch in both. It’s important the SQUEEZE THE GLUTES FIRST to induce posterior pelvic tilt, and then lift the hips up into extension. Also, keep the core engaged! The infamous glute guy @bretconteras also found that glute max exhibits maximal activation and end range hip extension! So make sure to give the � a good squeeze at the top! Note that if you go into a little lumbar extension, it’s okay as long as it’s not painful - remember, we’re stretching!