2 Exerises to Avoid
If you sit throughout the day and don’t stretch your hip flexors, these are two exercises to avoid. “But why my bald headed friend?” Well let me tell you.
If you look at the picture it shows the psoas and iliacus muscles, they combine at the hip joint to form the iliopsoas and they sit underneath your abdominals, which aren’t pictured. These muscles are hip flexors. Your abs do NOT flex your hips. Any leg lifting, kicking, high knees, steps, step up high knees, activities you do are going to involve hip flexors.
Because the psoas attaches to the lumbar spine, it will influence the lumbar spine. Sitting all day everyday without stretching or releasing this muscle can cause this muscle to become locked short, which can cause low back tension and or pain over time.
So, when you do exercises like the bicycle kicks or scissor kicks, thinking your “lower abs” are getting such a great workout, you’re really just giving your lower back more of a reason to hate you.
It may seem like it’s your abs feeling the burn, but the burn is likely coming from the hip flexors. And yes your abdominals can still get some work from these exercises. But there are alternatives to these exercises shown below!
A visual sign of psoas tension may be a slight forward lean when walking or an arched back while standing.
Avoid These Exercises
These are exercises to avoid! They are two exercises that are very popular, especially for people just getting started with exercising. These are also exercises I tell my clients with lumbar back pain to avoid if they spend hours a day in a seated position.
Replace with These Exercises
These exercises are similar but they will have less impact on the hip flexors. They are also great for any level of exercise experience.
Remember to release and stretch prior to exercising! Use a lacrosse ball and foam roller to target the hip flexors, glutes and back!