Your hip flexors are the muscles that run down the front of your hips. They’re important in maintaining a balanced and pain-free position on the bike and account for about 4% of the power through each pedal stroke.
The hip flexors are responsible for bringing the leg up to the abdominals in every pedal stroke. However, it’s this repeated action, where the hip is never fully flexed or extended, that causes cyclist’s hip flexors to become tight. Tight hip flexors will not only cause you to be uncomfortable on the bike, but they’ll also hinder your cycling performance. Tight hip flexors will inhibit the glutes which are essential for producing power in your pedal stroke. They can also cause pain, discomfort, and an increased risk of injuries, such as lower back pain.
Off-bike conditioning of your hip flexors is vital to ensure you’re using this muscle to its full potential. Regular stretching of your hip flexors will lead to greater levels of flexibility, consequently decreasing muscle tightness. Improving your flexibility will, in time, prevent you getting sore when holding your cycling position over a long period of time, enable you to adopt a more aggressive riding position, and also ensure other muscle groups are not prohibited, so you produce more power through each pedal stroke.
Our top recommended off-bike conditioning exercise to improve hip flexor range of motion: Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch*
*The above video is our recommended post-ride stretch that includes the kneeling hip flexor stretch. Skip forward to minute 07:00 to watch the kneeling hip flexor stretch only.