I just completed my second week of physical therapy for hip flexor tendonitis. My hip still hurts, but I can tell I am improving, thank goodness.
The first thing my physical therapist noted when meeting me is I don't stretch enough. Here's my confession, I rarely stretch after runs and when I do I don't know the proper way to stretch. The second thing he pointed out to me is I need to strength train. I was completely embarrassed to admit to him that I rarely do any strength training. I have a huge imbalance of strength in my hips and am excited to have someone instructing me on things I can do to fix this imbalance.
I know I am not the only runner with tight hip flexors, so I decided to share pictures of the stretches he has me doing in order to loosen up my hips. I already feel my hips loosening up after doing these stretches multiple times a day, every day.
The first stretch is pulling your knee to your butt while lying on the floor. I have always done this standing up, but he said you can get a better stretch while lying down and it stabilizes your hips.
The next stretch is a hip opener. Bend your knee over your ankle and lay your other leg flat behind you. You will feel the stretch in the front of your hip of the leg that is behind you.
This next stretch is a piriformis stretch. I occasionally get sciatica because of my piriformis (butt) muscle pinches my sciatic nerve and this helps to loosen it up. Bend your knee and put your ankle on your opposite knee and relax your leg. Pull your leg that your ankle is resting on towards you until you feel the stretch.
While doing the last stretch you can go into the next two stretches. While your knee is bent and ankle resting on the opposite knee, push down on the knee with the same hand as that knee. Hold this for 30 seconds, twice on each side.
friend that full sit-ups helps to strengthen the hips, so I am making sure to get in my sit-ups every day now.
I am curious to know about how you stretch and the time commitment. Do you have a stretching routine? How long do you stretch after your runs?