Take the time and effort to recover fully from a pulled hip flexor. Reinjury can be demoralizing…
Some key principles to follow to prevent future muscle strains include:
- Try not to compensate for pain or weakness in one muscle group by overusing muscles in other areas. Instead, work to proportionally strengthen all muscle groups relative to your activity, fitness level, and needs. The more balanced your strength and flexibility throughout your body, the better off you’ll be at avoiding injury – and this no more true than in your leg and lower back muscles.
- If you regularly tax the hip flexor muscles, do what you can to make sure they are both strong and supple. Too much strength and not enough flexibility, or vice versa, will work against you and lead to future muscle tears and muscle pulls, if not even more serious injuries.
- If you do not regularly tax your hip flexor muscles in your normal exercise routine or sport, incorporate exercises into your strength training routine that seek to strengthen and stretch these important muscles.
- Warm up properly. Like all your muscles, your hip flexors are more flexible when they are warmed up.
- Be sure to learn the proper techniques for your sport or exercise of choice. When you know how to perform the movements correctly – particularly which muscle groups to use effectively – not only will your enjoyment and skill level improve, but your chance for injury will dramatically decrease.
- If you are a cyclist, be sure your seat height is adjusted properly to relieve unnecessary stress on your hip flexor muscles. If you are unsure of the proper height, consult a professional.
- If you participate in sports that have a high risk of hip flexor injuries (e.g., soccer, martial arts, track and field events), pay special attention to warming up and stretching these muscles appropriately.
- Stretch AFTER you exercise. When the body is already warmed up, it’s an excellent time to work on your hip flexor (and other muscle) flexibility. This will also help prevent over-tightening as you cool down.
Here are some general pulled muscle prevention tips.