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Hip flexor pain, internal rotation

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Hi all,

I have been trying to work on straddle flexibility and trying things such as straddle ups (from a box) and straddle good mornings but get pain in my left hip especially when I try and bend at the hip (as in the straddle good morning). I can duplicate the pain by putting left leg in internal rotation while seated (so thighs at 90 degrees to torso) - I feel it immediately and becomes more pronounced when I hinge forward at the hip.

I'm pretty inflexible in this position (I can barely more forward at all when sitting on ground hence the use of a box) but this irritation / pain in left hip is stopping me working on it at all.

I've been trying L2 Solo Floor Hip Flexor from MTBB which seems to help. I massage gluteus med, min, hip flexors and quad and while it helps a little bit I haven't made much progress. Most of the time I don't feel the pain unless I go into the position described but it does seem to get irritated when doing lots of jumping (particularly running jumps where I take off the left leg). I have also noticed left gluteus max and med is weak, at least compared to right so I'm working on strengthening those too.

Hip flexors don't seem really tight but I could be wrong. Quads seem tighter and have definitely been developed more than posterior chain (lots of olympic lifting, back/front squats etc).

So I guess my question is - is all my massage and stretching more likely to be irritating it than helping? Should I back off and just work on glute strength? Any other ideas?


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For what it's worth I have found the horse stance an incredible exercise to produce endurance and flexibility and the hip and lower back. I have suffered for many years with low back pain and my right hip also sounds similar to your described problems. I have been working on building the time spent in horse stance each morning since christmas, adding 20 seconds on each week (up to 4 minutes now woooooooo). I can honestly say I have never felt so loose in that area since I have started this practice and my pancake is improving. Emmet Louis has a fantastic channel on youtube and teaches the horse stance in some of his videos.


Good luck finding out about your body.

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I have a very similar issue, which I believe to be a hip joint pathology such as impingement or labral tear. I've got it on both sides but much worse on my right. Internal rotation really isn't a great position for me.

I don't really know much about it so don't want to give you real advice, but one thing that helps me work around it is self psoas/illiacus release/massage with a ball. It seemingly frees up space, they're external rotators so it's like if they're tight, they pull the femur in to the socket strangely in my experience.

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Thanks for the reply - interestingly I was doing horse stance until about a month ago and had worked up to around 3 minutes. I had to massage my hip to allow me to do it comfortably however. I may give it another shot with slightly narrower stance


Yep - I do Parkour and suspect it's somewhat to blame. I tend to favour take offs from the left which so I think repeated impacts over the last few years have done something. Funny you say about psoas as I have been massaging it and I occasionally hit a spot that refers pain to the same spot in my front hip. My right side psoas is much ropier and has spots that are much more tender than my left. I'm wondering if my left is actually weak as well as tight.

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"putting left leg in internal rotation while seated (so thighs at 90 degrees to torso)" - hip pain in this position is one possible sign of femoral acetabular impingement which comes from an unusual shape in the hip joint (see e.g. http://en.wikipedia....lar_impingement). Suggest this should be considered, as it can cause major damage if you try to work through it.


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