very sore hip flexors after a new workout--help?
August 24, 2013 9:13 PM   Subscribe

I tried a new ab workout on Thursday and I must have been cheating with my hip flexors too much because today (two days later) the soreness is incredible. If I describe my workout and my symptoms, could the hive mind try to identify which muscle is sore and suggest ways to stretch it?

The workout was straight leg raises, oblique sit-ups on a roman chair, push-ups on a big yoga ball, and this thing where I started in a plank on my toes and elbows, twisted a bit to straighten one arm, then straightened the other, held a push-up top post for a moment, went back down on my elbows one at a time, then reached one arm out in front of my head, then the other. Basically, trying to stabilize against a bunch of weird twisty motions.

It is definitely a hip flexor. I can tell because it feel awful every time I try to lift my knee or sit up or lie down. The soreness is concentrated at the anterior of the iliac crest. Judging from the location and provocation/palliation, I think it would be the iliopsoas, except I've tried a bunch of iliopsoas stretches without feeling any stretch there. I can actually get a little bit of relief just from digging my fingers into my hip like I'm trying to scrape out the medial surface of my ileus. Also, crossing one leg behind the other and thrusting the hip of that leg forward and laterally feels like a little bit of a stretch.

None of the hip flexor stretches I've found online have helped. These include pigeon pose, butterfly stretch, and various stretches that hyperextend the hips while lunging or flexing the opposite hip or twisting the trunk or reaching upward. (Note that this is kind of expected for me: I can hold positions that other people call stretches without feeling any real stretch. This is kind of cool for cheating my way through gym class, but really annoying when I actually want to stretch.)

Can anyone identify which muscle(s) are sore and suggest how to stretch it?
posted by d. z. wang to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Can't really help you troubleshoot, but as far as relief: I find that when I have muscle soreness after a workout, the thing that helps the most is doing that exact same workout again, at a lighter load if possible. It hurts like hell at first and seems like the last thing you'd want to do, but it works after a few minutes.

That's for muscle soreness. I wouldn't do that if I suspected an actual injury.
posted by ctmf at 10:22 PM on August 24, 2013

Try a foam roller, it works wonders for me. Google it and you will think it's nonsense (I did) but it was miraculous when I swallowed my skepticism and tried it. They are cheap.
posted by karlos at 5:39 AM on August 25, 2013

Foam rollers are great. Icing and twice a day alleve for bad strains are my go-to. If it's limiting you and you have insurance, go to a (sports) doc for a physical therpy script. PTs are awesome at these. Sorry thst I don't have stretches, but it's going to be pretty difficult to figure your muscles out over the internet.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 6:51 AM on August 25, 2013

Might it be the lower part of the transversus abdominis? How does cobra stretch feel? (As you rise up, draw the abs in; be gentle with your lower back.) Soreness in that deep layer of abdominal muscle feels markedly different to me than soreness in the more superficial muscles. (Cobra is the one I'm always told will help transversus abdominis soreness. Practically speaking, I've never found any particular stretch to be that great.)
posted by purpleclover at 8:30 AM on August 25, 2013

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