If you’re a part of the vast majority of working Americans who sit for long portions of their day, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced back pain. In fact, the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that work-related musculoskeletal problems make up 32 percent of all worker injury and illness. 32 percent! But there’s some good news too. Simple stretches can help prevent injuries and keep you on your game at work. One such recommended stretch is the ‘hip-flexor stretch.’

First, a little information about your hip flexor: The main function of the hip flexor muscles is to bring your thigh up towards your abdomen or bring your abdomen toward your thighs. Examples of these types of movement are a sit-up or a leg-lift. The hip-flexor stretch can be done either kneeling or standing.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

  • From a half-kneeling position, bring your right foot forward, making sure that the right knee is directly over the right ankle and the right hip is bent to 90 degrees.
  • Place both hands on your right thigh to help maintain a straight, tall spine.
  • Pull your shoulder blades down and back, without arching your lower back. Tighten your core muscles to keep your spine and pelvis stable.
  • Lean slightly forward until you feel a slight stretch in the left hip flexor muscles. To achieve a greater stretch, you can raise your left arm overhead while leaning slightly to the right side.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Complete 2-3 repetitions per side.
  • To reduce any discomfort in the knee on the ground, place a rolled-up stretch mat or towel under it.

Lunge

Standing Hip Flexor Stretch

  • From a standing position, take a step backward with your right foot, turning it slightly inward until it is straight. Maintain a tall straight spine. To balance, you may place your left hand on the wall.
  • Next, contract your buttocks muscles enough to feel a slight stretch through the front of your hip.
  • Lean slightly forward until you feel a slight stretch in the right hip flexor muscles. To achieve a greater stretch you can raise your left arm overhead while leaning slightly to the left side.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Complete 2-3 repetitions per side.

Back Stretch

References: www.acefitness.org and Tanger Be Well Center “Strategies for Injury Prevention”

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.