Fitness/Flexibility (Video): Increase the Effectiveness of the Lunge Stretch for the Hip Flexors

Fitness/Flexibility (Video): Increase the Effectiveness of the Lunge Stretch for the Hip Flexors

Dick Moss

The lunge stretch is often used to improve flexibility in the hip flexors - the muscles in the front of the upper thighs that are responsible for lifting the knees when running.

In performing the lunge stretch, athletes assume a lunge position with the hands braced on the front knee. They lean backwards to increase the stretch.

However, a slight change in this position can dramatically increase the amount of tissue being stretched, and also involve the fascia in the front of the body.

Fascia is the layer of connective tissue that surrounds all the muscles, bones and joints and provides inner support, structure and protection to the body. Stretching the fascia in addition to the muscles, ligaments and tendons will greatly increase flexibility.

The Lunge Stretch Variation
The variation is simple. Once your athletes assume the lunge position with their hands on the knees, have them contract their glute muscles. They then assume an upright body position while raising their hands over their head.

They will feel a greater stretch in their hip flexors, but also in their torso, shoulders, and arms. Shifting the arms while leaning to the left and right will change the angle of stretch and involve additional tissue.

Below is a video demonstration of the exercise,
as presented by Tony Scott to Meghan Juuti.

References: Tony Scott (RMT & Certified Flexibility Therapist) is a stretching consultant and massage therapist, formerly with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays. He now works as an independent consultant out of Newmarket, Ontario.


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