Updated: Mar 10, 2022
I’m a bit like a broken record when it comes to how important it is to stretch your hip flexors if you want explosive speed.
We don’t really hear about strengthening your hip flexors to develop explosive speed.
It’s almost like a secret underground world or a taboo topic to talk about.
But, when you think about it, it makes sense to strengthen your hips to get faster.
Hear me out.
When it comes to speed, the job of your hip flexors is to drive your knee forward so that when your foot strikes the ground you are able produce force to propel your body forward fast.
If you have strong hip flexors, you will be faster than someone with weaker ones.
But, not only will strong hip flexors make you faster, it will also improve your balance for when you make a tackle, change direction, engage during a scrum and when the opposition is attempting to clean you out of a ruck.
So, before we can talk about strengthening your hips, we need to talk about what causes weak hip flexors?
One common cause of weak hip flexors is sitting down for long periods of time. This also tightens your hip flexors as well. This is due to the fact that your hip flexors don’t work themselves as hard as when you are standing.
Basically, in a sitting position, they are being lazy.
That’s all great to know I can hear you say.. but
How do I know if my hips flexors are weak?
I thought you would never ask.
If you have any of the general symptoms below then there is a good chance that you have weak hip flexors:
· Knee pain
· Back pain
· Hip pain
· Changes in your posture
The above symptoms occur because other muscles of the body are compensating for the weak hip flexors therefore causing them to overwork.
How to test for weak hip flexors?
Check out the below video that will step you through a test you can do.
How to strengthen Hip Flexors
We have finally made it to the juicy part.
Below are 2 of my favourite exercises that will strengthen your hip flexors and best of all you can do all 2 exercises in the comfort of your home.
1. SUPINE HIP FLEXOR ACTIVATION
This exercise can be done using either a squat rack or doorway.
1. Lie down on your back and position yourself with one foot resting on the rack or doorway and the other leg straight.
2. Your thigh should be positioned so your hip is just past a 90 degree angle towards your chest.
3. Begin to contract your hip flexors by lightly driving your knee towards your chest. This will lift your foot away from the squat rack or doorway.
4. At the same time, your other leg should be counteracting the motion by straightening and pressing down hard into the ground. Keep the back straight.
Hold for 3 seconds and then release to starting position.
Perform 5-10 reps for 1-3 sets per side
2. SEATED STRAIGHT LEG RAISES
Sit on the floor with on leg extended and back straight.
Hug the other knee to your chest.
Begin to slowly lift your leg off the ground.
Hold for one second and then slowly lower leg to the ground.
Perform 2-4 sets per side until failure.
These exercises are deceptively challenging, especially if you have weak/tight hip flexors.
Start off slow and if you feel a pinch or sharp feeling in the front of the hip, stop immediately.
No matter what you are training for - speed, agility, tackling or rucking you need to be incorporating these hip flexor strength exercises into your training.
Want to know more then strengthening your hips for speed?
Then you need to check out my top of the range 90 Days to Explosive Speed program
Even the pros need to follow a set program.
You don’t see Josh Addo-Carr making up his training sessions as he goes.
This program includes everything you need to get a competitive edge - including Speed training, power training, strength training, flexibility exercises, and more.
Get the details here: