5 Hip Flexor Moves to Boost Speed and Prevent Injury

Suffering from pain in your Achilles, hamstring, knee, or IT band (along the side of your leg)? Your hip flexors may be to blame.

Weakness in the hip flexors—a group of muscles in the pelvic region and upper thighs that help drive up the knees and keep the pelvis and thighs aligned when running—can contribute to slower times, improper form, and, according to a recent review presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, a host of lower-leg running injuries.

"The body has the capacity to compensate for weak hip flexors, but the strategies to do that can lead to muscle imbalances and injury," says Gregory Holtzman, P.T., D.P.T., associate professor of physical therapy at Washington University and director of the university's Running Clinic, who recommends doing the following exercises three or four days a week.

Plus: Perform this workout with perfect form by watching our video demo.

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