Just to clarify one concept, there is no hip extension while doing planks however don’t mistake joint movement with muscle tension (or a muscle contraction).
Yes, planks require an isometric contraction of your hips to stabilize yourself. You're generating muscle tension with no movement. This is FINE - every time you walk, sit, stand etc you're contracting your hip flexors - it's unavoidable.
Do planks now -- in conjunction with your exercises. Do not wait until you have strong glutes, abductors and hamstrings. Planks are a great exercise for stabilizing your deep core musculature.
You have the right idea with the muscles you're targeting however. (See the Diagram Below)
Janda’s Crossed Syndromes
What Would Benefit you the Most
Reverse Lunges make the most sense in your case (add a unilateral dumbbell carry if you’re able to maintain your balance).
- Lunges add instability in the Frontal Plane – exactly what you need
as you’ll be forced to use your hip abductors to stabilize yourself.
- Doing them backwards, holding one dumbbell will simultaneously strengthen your hamstrings, glutes (Min / Med / Max), core, quads.
Active stretches require muscle force to attain and hold a position, whereas active-assisted stretching employs additional leverage to provide greater relative ROM during the stretch.
The force is produced internally via use of a stretching device (such as stretching strap or towel). The protocol for employment is similar to active stretching.
- Holds may last 30-45 seconds depending on tolerance of discomfort.
Lunge Position Rectus Femoris & Iliopsoas Self-Stretch
The rectus femoris acts as a knee extensor and hip flexor as it crosses both joints. Tightness in this muscle group can contribute to low back pain and is usually involved in any type of knee pain or instability.
How to Do the Rectus Femoris Self-Stretch:
- First attain a pronounced lunge position with the front hip and knee
bent a 90° and back hip opened broader than 90°.
A towel or stretching strap is wrapped around the dorsal aspect (near
your shoelaces) of the trailing foot which is held by the opposite
The rear foot should be drawn toward the glutes by light pulling on
the towel or strap as well as active knee flexion.
Once maximal knee flexion has been attained, the hip should then be
extended forward to maximize the stretch of the tissues.