Helen Clare stretching hip flexors post running

How to fix sore hip flexors

Ever had pain or irritation across the front of your hips when running? Or after running?

This is the area of the hip flexors – made up of the iliopsoas, rectus femoris and sartorius muscles – that primarily act to lift the knee and thigh closer to the body.

Pain in this area is a common one for runners – but we can almost always fix it!

In this video I talk about the reasons why irritation here is so common, and what we can do to go about fixing it.

We’ll cover a couple of yoga poses, and a running drill. Enjoy!

After you’ve watched, let me know – do you get pain here? Are you doing consistent regular yoga to help? How do those poses feel? And can you feel the point/ action of the drill?

All my best,


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Video Transcript

Ever had pain or irritation across the front of the hips? Well you’re not alone, as hip flexor injury ranks highest in common running complaints. Why? Well, it’s usually down to technique and in my experience after working with students with this issue, we’ve resolved it with the combination of improving running form, plus a regular yoga routine.

Hi, I’m HC, this is the RBY show, helping you to run injury-free and move with more ease and joy.

To start with, test your hip flexors: come to a low lunge – knee over ankle and hip over knee.

Create a square, with the front foot grounded down. Lengthen the tailbone, stacking torso over thigh. If this isn’t possible, then there’s some work to do.
do this pose regularly, hold for 5 slow breaths, then relax and repeat 2-3 times.

It’s usual for most people to hold extra tension here, so it’s useful to gently release the hip flexors after running.

You can do this by lying over a block…. and even drawing one knee in towards you. You do not need to feel a big stretch here, just hang out for 2-3 minutes.

Find links to my other classes on yoga for hip flexors in the show notes. The most benefit though comes from a well-rounded yoga practice, so check out my Get on Track program, to get you started with incorporating a whole body yoga routine into your schedule. To help you get on track for 2020 there’s a January special offer on this course so be sure to check it out!

Then, consider the way that you run. What do you think about moving first? For many runners it’s lifting the knee up, straight away contracting the hip flexors, likely overstriding and over relying on the quads.

Instead, think about lifting heels first.

To help with this, stand up tall. Slide your toes back, as though you were about to lift your heel. Now push off the toes to step forward. Slide back and push. Take this idea into your run, but actually lift the heel. it gives us a great idea of how it should feel to focus on pushing to move forwards, rather than pulling to go forwards.

So connect to your core, then to the glutes and lift and push, lift and push. Try replicating that on your run and feel the pain in the hfs start to ease off.

Give that drill and those poses a go, and let me know how you get on! I’d love to see you in the RBY Community group on facebook, or leave me your thoughts, comments and questions on the blog at runbetterwithyoga.com. And If you want some personal feedback, find us on social and tag me at @runbetterwithyoga in a picture, and I’ll give you some tips. You’ll find all the links in the show notes.

Here’s to running with ease and joy – see you next time.

helen clare, hip flexors, hip pain, natural running, natural running technique, psoas, run better with yoga, sore hips, yoga for running

Helen Clare

Helen Clare, founder of Helen Clare Yoga and Run Better with Yoga, is a trail runner, senior yoga teacher and yoga for athletes coach, living in Cornwall, UK.

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