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Standing 3 Plane Active Hip Flexor Stretch

by Anthony Carey, MA

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The standing three plane active hip flexor stretch is a dynamic flexibility exercise that gets after the primary hip flexors, especially the iliopsoas, and in three dimensions. It also helps the trunk move against the fixed hip, which is a little bit different than we traditionally stretch our hip flexors. First, put your foot up on a chair to flex the uninvolved leg. Your back leg, the left leg, should be slightly pigeon-toed so that the hip is internally rotated. From here, the first motion you'll do is a sagittal plane motion with the arms. Start with your arms chest level and raise them as your pelvis moves forward each time, creating separation through the anterior portion of your body. The pelvis moves forward as the arms go up. Try to contract your abdominals to help stabilize the lower back as you move. In the second movement, your arms will again be parallel to the floor, then go into the transverse plane where you will turn towards the leg on the chair again as the pelvis moves forward. You can do two things with the head here. You can turn your head with your arms, which will help with balance. Or you can focus your eyes straight ahead as the arms turn, which helps with rotation in the cervical spine. The third position is the frontal plane.Take your right hand and put it on your right knee with your left arm up in the air. Now as your pelvis moves forward, lengthening through the hip, you will side bend and get the frontal plane aspect of the psoas. You will want to stay purely in the frontal plane in this movement and not rotate the torso as you side bend.

About the Presenter

Anthony Carey, MA

Anthony Carey, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Anthony Carey, MA, owns Function First in San Diego, California. He holds a master?s degree in biomechanics and athletic training, and is an internationally-recognized speaker on biomechanics, posture, motor control and musculoskeletal pain and function. As a best-selling author, his work has been featured in the New York Times and Time Magazine. Anthony is also the inventor of the Core-Tex.