I've been snooping around for a while now, and while there's no lack of reasons to stretch them, no one seems to be training their hip flexors. What's the reason for this? Because they're a smaller internal muscle with no cosmetic impact? Because they'll never have to do anything more than raise a pair of legs? Even so, it's still weird to me to ignore them entirely.
1What general area of physical fitness are you referring to? Yoga, and it's relatives, focus on the hip flexors pretty often. Is your question more regarding weight lifting?– BruceWayneSep 15, 2022 at 18:38
1Can you Post some research? Which trainers did you Ask? Which text-books did you read?– Robbie GoodwinSep 16, 2022 at 19:11
@RobbieGoodwin Hm? Why would I do mind-numbing research when I can ask the people here :D Believe it or not, not everyone has ample access to trainers and textbooks, and even if lighter sources of information were the items at hand, just about no one wants to dig for that information themselves; anecdote, in this case, is much more appropriate. With the attention this question has received, I'd like to think its existence is well warranted.– FyreSep 19, 2022 at 17:47
@Fyre Because by signing up as a member here, you agreed to do basic research, rather than asking other members to do the work for you. If after doing, and citing at least some basic research you are confused or still uncertain, it's fine to Ask here about what's not clear. Before doing or citing your own research, why should members donate their time to you?– Robbie GoodwinSep 20, 2022 at 20:37
I am active in aerial arts and gymnastics communities. In these disciplines, we train hipflexors all the time (although most exercises that use hipflexors hit abs and/or quads as well), since powerful hipflexors are necessary for a fast and tight pike fold, as well as some other similar body shapes which are frequently used in these disciplines.
Most of the hipflexor exercises we do are variations on hanging or supine leg lifts.
Did gymnastics as kid. Straight leg raises hanging on USSR ladder wall for days. Result - hip flexors over-powering everything and causing lordosis.– VSOSep 17, 2022 at 16:37
@VSO oof, sounds like your coach may have forgot to mix in hip extension exercises! Sep 19, 2022 at 16:53
It's not actually that uncommon to train them. Most ab exercises work the hip flexors as much as they do the abs. There probably isn't a huge benefit to having them be extremely strong, but powerful hip flexors (i.e. able to exert force at high speed) would be beneficial for sports that involve kicking,.
5To add to this, another reason why we do focus on stretching them a lot, is because a sedentary lifestyle has the adverse effect of tightening them due to its shortened state while sitting.– Alec ♦Sep 15, 2022 at 10:55
I have a set of spinal injuries and one of the things I cannot do is flex my left hip well – it is innervated by the L1/L2 Myotome.
Trust me, if you can't flex your hips, walking becomes very difficult in very odd ways – and almost every exercise you can do that remotely relates to either walking, holding your legs out straight, raising your bottom from a flat surface while lying on a bed, or doing a sit-up uses the hip flexors as part of a complex movement. I think fitness people don't train them specifically because there is a lot of cross-over from other activities. A lot of leg-specific exercises (like the clams) work them extensively (and I can only really do those exercises on one side as a result).
That's a pretty unique insight. I always wondered how many muscles even the most experienced worker-outer doesn't consider as part of the equation, when instead it's the case that it's really important, but worked collaterally.– Alec ♦Sep 16, 2022 at 8:31
Having done a bit of powerlifting, I've found training them, especially in isolation to be useful in strengthening squats.
It helped me be better about keeping knees over toes and driving straight down rather than knees caving in slightly. Most of the stronger people I've talked to (other powerlifters, strongmen, etc) tend to concur.