Hip Flexor Stretches for the Disabled

By Deborah Lundin

Exercise is for everybody, regardless of ability or disability. If a wheelchair or walking aid limits your mobility, regular stretching exercises for the hip flexors help increase range of motion as well as blood flow to your muscles. This is essential for muscles that are otherwise immobile throughout the day, even in able-bodied individuals who sit for extended periods. Different stretches target your personal ability, and some may require an assistant.

Supine Stretch

Step 1

Lie flat on your back with your legs extended and arms relaxed at your side. Slowly slide your right foot up toward your buttocks until your foot is flat on the floor or table and your knee points upward. Keep your left leg straight.

Step 2

Reach down and grasp the back of your right thigh. Slowly pull your knee toward your chest. Hold this stretch for 30 to 45 seconds before returning to the starting position.

Step 3

Repeat two to five times. Switch leg positions and repeat the steps with the left leg.

Step 4

Add a foam roller to perform a different variation and apply pressure to the muscles. Position the foam roller just under your waistline and keep your legs extended. Repeat the same steps as before, keeping the heel of your extended leg on the floor or table.

Supine Stretch Assisted

Step 1

Lie flat on a massage table or bench so that your left side is at the edge of the table. Ask your assistant to lift and lower your left leg so that it drops off the edge of the table. The table must be high enough that your leg can hang off the edge without your foot touching the floor.

Step 2

Ask the assistant to stabilize your pelvis with his right hand. While gravity does provide a stretch, have the assistant press down on your left thigh to increase the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds before returning to the starting position.

Step 3

Repeat two to five times before moving to the right side of the table and repeating the steps with your right leg.

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