Standing Hip Flexion

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Standing Hip Flexion

In this post we will show you how to do standing hip flexion using machine equipment. If your gym has a multi-hip machine, it is a good option for training the hip flexors and extensors (forward an backward motion of the hip). To perform standing hip flexion you can also use an elastic band, an ankle cuff weight, or an ankle cable attachment to increase the resistance (low-pulley cable hip flexion). Unfortunately, there are no obvious ways to adequately exercise them with free weights. Independent of equipment used, follow the same stabilization, alignment, and exercise range-of-motion principles as described bellow.

Despite their importance to a wide range of athletic and sporting activities, the hip flexors are the most neglected major muscle group in strength training. Maybe because they can’t be shown off like big quads and calves. Sure, they’re small and hard to notice, but they do play a part in your sprint speed and many other athletic activities. By contrast there is usually a great deal of emphasis on exercises for the leg extensors.

How to Perform Standing Hip Flexion Using Machine Equipment?

STARTING POSITION (SETUP): The starting position for this exercise is similar to the standing hip extension. However, depending on the design of the machine, you will now need to place your shin or lower thigh behind the roller, which you need to bring forward.

Standing Hip Flexion

Standing Hip Flexion

EXERCISE EXECUTION (ACTION): Lift the leg approximately 45-60% and then return to the starting position. Keep your knee almost fully extended and locked. Complete the desired number of repetitions. Once you have finished a set with one leg, move immediately to the other leg.

Muscles Involved in Standing Hip Flexion

The most important muscles involved in hip flexion are the psoas and the iliacus, collectively known as the iliopsoas. Because they are relatively deep-seated rather than surface muscles they may have been overlooked by strength training athletes (bodybuilders) who have traditionally been the major innovators in strength training.

Main muscle groups: psoas (major and minor), iliacus
Secondary muscle groups: front quadriceps, tensor fasciae latae, sartorius, pectineus, adductors (long and short), gluteus minimus, (gluteus medius – front fibers), obturators
Antagonists: gluteus maximus, hamstrings

Exercise Variations

  • Low-Pulley Cable Hip Flexion. Secure the strap of the cable around your ankle. Face away from the machine while standing on a 6-inch step (15 cm) with your opposite foot. Bent your body slightly forward. Hold on to something for support or place your hands on your hips. Extend your leg at the hip while keeping your knee locked. In other words, kick your working leg straight out in front, working the hip flexors. Slowly and under control return to the starting position.
Standing Cable Hip Flexion

Standing Cable Hip Flexion

  • This exercise can also be performed using resistance bands or ankle weights if a functional trainer is not available.

Closing Thoughts

Most people do not consider working the hip flexors since they are not as visible as the buns, and they do not hold extra fat. But they are important for everyday function and should not be overlooked.

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