5 Essential Hip Flexor Strain Rehab Exercises for Rapid Recovery

Hip flexor pain

Free download: Top 10 Natural & Easy Remedies for Joint Pain from Home. Learn these helpful remedies. 

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes read

Hip flexor strains can be a real pain, literally! These strains happen when the muscles around your hip get overstretched or torn. This can make it hard to move and do your daily activities. Athletes, like runners and soccer players, often get hip flexor strains, but anyone can experience this injury.

At the start of a hip flexor strain, it’s important to rest, use ice, and avoid activities that make the pain worse. After the pain lessens, specific exercises can help you regain strength and flexibility, allowing you to get back to normal without any lasting pain.

Causes and Symptoms

Hip flexor strains can happen for several reasons. Here are some common causes:

  • Overuse: Doing the same activity repeatedly, like running or jumping.
  • Sudden Movements: Quick changes in direction or sudden leg lifts.
  • Not Warming Up: Starting physical activities without a proper warm-up.
  • Trauma: Falling or getting hit directly in the hip area.
  • Poor Flexibility: Having tight muscles that are more likely to get injured.

The symptoms of a hip flexor strain include:

  • Pain in the hip or groin area.
  • Stiffness and weakness in the hip muscles.
  • Bruising or swelling around the hip.
  • Trouble walking without limping.
  • Muscle spasms.

Hip Flexor Strain Rehab Exercises

Once the initial pain and swelling have gone down, it’s time to start gentle exercises to help you heal. Here are some exercises that can help:

1. Abdominal Brace

Abdominal Bracing for Hip Flexor Strain
  • Begin on your back, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. 
  • Exhale and draw your belly button towards your spine (as if a string was pulling on the inside of your belly button from the ground). 
  • Hold for 5 seconds before relaxing. 
  • Do this 10 times for one set, and complete 2 sets.

2. Supine Marching

Marching core step 1
Marching core step 2
  • Starting position: Laying flat on your back (on your bed, couch, or floor), with your knees bent and feet flat on the surface.
  • To activate your transverse abdominis, try to pull the belly button down towards the surface, gently flattening the back simultaneously. This will help to brace the core.
  • While keeping this braced core (don’t forget to breathe!), lift one knee towards your chest, like a march, then lower back down to the surface.
  • Repeat 10 repetitions for 3 sets. Perform on the opposite leg.
  • You can perform all repetitions on one side, switch to the other, or perform alternatingly between the legs.

3. Quad Sets

Coach Todd performing Quad Sets, an effective exercise for strengthen your quads
quad set step 2
  • Starting position: Seated with the injured leg stretched in front of you (can be on the floor, couch, or bed).
  • Squeeze the quadriceps (the muscles on the top of the thigh) and try to press the back of the injured knee down toward the surface.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat 10 repetitions for 3 sets.

4. Standing Marches

Standing Marches step 1
Standing Marches step 2
  • Feel free to march standing or sitting. Lift one knee up at a time, alternating sides for 10 repetitions.
  • When you do start walking, focus on landing softly with each stride.
  • Don’t feel like you need to begin a walking workout with brisk walking. Start at a slower pace initially. Once you’ve been able to determine how your body responds to this initial slower pace, and it doesn’t cause more pain, you can gradually begin to walk faster but still keep a comfortable pace.
  • Repeat 3 sets of a total of 10 repetitions.

5. Full Leg Lifts

Coach Todd demonstrating Full Leg Lifts, an exercise beneficial in improving knee stability and potentially reducing Hip Flexor Strain.
full leg lifts 2
  • Lie on your back with one leg bent and the other leg straight and together.
  • Lift your straight leg up towards the ceiling, raising your buttocks off the floor.
  • Slowly lower your leg back down, stopping just above the floor. Hold for 5 seconds briefly.
  • Repeat the movement for 10 repetitions and 3 sets.

Care Tips for Hip Flexor Strain

Here are some tips to help care for a hip flexor strain:

  • Rest: Take a break from activities that cause pain.
  • Ice: Apply ice packs to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Compression: Use compression wraps to help with swelling.
  • Elevation: Elevate your legs to help reduce swelling.


Hip flexor strains can be painful, but with the right approach, you can recover fully. Start with rest and ice, then gradually introduce gentle exercises. By following these steps, you can get back to your normal activities and sports without pain.

Remember to listen to your body and avoid pushing through pain. Consult with a healthcare professional to tailor the rehab program to your needs. With consistency and care, you’ll be back on your feet in no time!

Wondering What's Next?

Discover 11 Easy, At-Home “Stretch Exercises” for Stronger, Pain-Free Joints (click below)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles