What are the Different Types of Flexion Exercises?

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  • Written By: Kelly Ferguson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 31 January 2020
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There are a number of different flexion exercises that can be performed to increase strength and flexibility. Flexion exercises also play a very large role in joint and muscle pain reduction from injuries or medical conditions. Examples of these exercises may include leg lifts to work the hip flexors, bicep curls to work the elbow flexors, and forearm curls to strengthen the wrist flexors.

Trunk flexion exercises include exercises that work the back and abdominal muscles. Many people with back pain find doing trunk flexion exercises often helps strengthen and stretch the core muscles, relieving some of the pain. Lumbar exercises are one of the more popular choices for people with back pain, but they are also often considered risky, potentially causing injury or making existing injuries worse. A more conservative trunk flexion plan may include strengthening exercises such as pelvic tilts and side bends for the abdominal and oblique muscles, which will allow these muscles to aid the back in carrying more of the upper body weight, potentially easing the back pain.


Flexion exercises that affect the leg include knee, hip, and ankle flexions. Stretching and strengthening the hip flexor muscles can not only reduce pain, but also improve posture and make it easier to lift the legs while walking and running. Knee flexion exercises are frequently used to help rehabilitate the knees after an injury or surgery, and can also make it easier for people who have trouble moving around because of knee pain. Ankle flexion consists of two movements called plantar flexion and dorsiflexion that respectively point the toes and then bring the top of the foot in toward the shin. Doing this can improve balance and speed while relieving lower leg cramping and shin splints.

Shoulder, elbow, and wrist flexion are the main flexion exercises that affect the arms. Exercising the shoulder flexors can increase the range of motion around the shoulder joint, and is another method frequently used for rehabilitation after surgery or an injury. Exercising the elbow flexors can also help improve a decreased range of motion resulting from an injury or surgery. Elbow flexion exercises such as bicep curls strengthen the arms and make it easier to lift heavy objects. Forearm curls, also known as wrist curls, are a good way to strengthen the flexors of the wrist, helping to stabilize and strengthen the wrists, and even improve grip strength.


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