Open Up Your Hips and Low Back with this Foam Roller Hip Flexor Stretch

Whether you have back pain or not, it’s always a good idea to stretch your hip flexors and low back. When you perform a hip flexor stretch, you lengthen the psoas, which frequently shortens in Pilates exercises.

Rotating the spine allows you to reset your nervous system and maintain spinal health. Many core muscles contribute to spinal rotation including the internal obliques, external obliques, rotatores, and multifidus. For this reason, spinal rotation exercises are essential for a healthy spine.

Hip Flexor Stretch with a Foam Roller

  1. Begin on your back with your knees bent, heels in line with your SITs bones.
  2. Lift your hips so you can slide the roller under them. When you lower your hips, your sacrum (tailbone) should be on the roller.
  3. Use traditional Pilates breathing.
  4. Slide your right leg out along the mat. Feel the back of the heel connect to the mat to ensure your leg isn’t rotated to the side.
  5. Hold here for a moment and make sure you feel stable.
  6. hip flexor stretch on the foam rollerWhen you feel stable, lift your left knee toward your chest. Use your right hand to encourage the knee to come closer to your shoulder. Keep your left hand on the floor to help stabilize you.
  7. Hold here as you inhale and exhale.
  8. To increase the stretch, use your abdominals and gluteus maximus to help you move into Imprint on the roller.
  9. Hold for a couple breaths.
  10. When you’re finished, return your left foot to the floor and bend your right knee.
  11. Switch sides.
  12. It’s sufficient to only perform this stretch once on each side, holding for several breaths.

Spine Twist with a Foam Roller

  1. Begin on your back with your knees bent, heels in line with your SITs bones.
  2. Lift your hips so you can slide the roller under them. When you lower your hips, your sacrum (tailbone) should be on the roller.
  3. Use traditional Pilates breathing.
  4. Slide your right leg out along the mat. Feel the back of the heel connect to the mat to ensure your leg isn’t rotated to the side.
  5. Hold here for a moment and make sure you feel stable.
  6. When you feel stable, lift your left knee up to Table top. Place your right hand on your left knee. Keep your left hand on the floor to help stabilize you.
  7. Inhale here.
  8. spinal rotation on the foam rollerExhale as you draw your belly button toward your spine and bring your left knee across the midline of your body. As you rotate, your weight will shift on to the right hip and the left one will lift. You may also notice that the outside edge of your right foot connects to the floor as your pelvis rotates.
  9. Hold for a couple of breaths.
  10. When you’re finished, rotate back to center and return your left foot to the floor. Bend your right knee. You should be back to your starting position.
  11. Switch sides.
  12. It’s sufficient to only perform this stretch once on each side, holding for several breaths.

Finding a Foam Roller

If you want to order a foam roller, I recommend the OPTP brand foam roller. Their foam rollers are firm and don’t dent or bend easily. It’s crucial for your foam roller to be firm and stay the same shape throughout its use.

Foam rollers are a great tool to elevate your Pilates mat work, but they’re also wonderful self-massage tools. Here’s a link to some foam roller stretches.

Hip Flexor Stretch and Spine Twist Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

Which do you prefer–the Hip flexor stretch or the Spine twist? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi! I'm Sarah, and I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. When I'm not working with clients, I'm researching the best ways to get rid of pain. Do you want to learn how to practice yoga and Pilates safely in your own home? Or, do you want to know all my tips and tricks for pain relief? Join my mailing list and receive free goodies to help you.

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