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Hip Flexor Workshop: Part B

Observing Range of Motion

Use the “tests” below to help you put together a picture of your clients patterns of muscular tension. Take notes, or make mental notes.  Try not to make your testing too formal. Not only will your clients self-correct, they may feel medicalized. You want to keep the experience light and informal. Then, they will relax, giving you a much more accurate picture. If they are not relaxed, their muscles are not relaxed either.

When you have finished proceed to the stretches. Ask questions about how and where particular stretches feel. This may or may not confirm your initial observations. Don’t tell them how or where they should feel things!

Image 1


If the hip will not drop into extension (Image 1), the one joint hip flexors are tight. The primary two are Psoas & Illiacus. The “normal” range of motion in hip extension is somewhere between 10 and 30 degrees. Note that the knee bends easily. This indicates that the quadriceps and rectus femoris are not tight. Because they cross the knee joint, it would not bend so easily if they were tight. 


In the next workshop, will we examine the effect of TFL and Sartorius. If the hip in image one tends to abduct, internally rotate or externally rotate, it is a sign that there is potential stiffness in these muscles as well.

Image 2


In image two the hip will not drop into extension, indicating tightness in the one joint hip flexors. In addition, the knee will not easily bend. You can suspect that the quadriceps and rectus femoris are tight as well if this is what you observe.

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