This is one of the best stretching exercises for the outside of the hip. It looks like a pretzel move but once you get if figured out, it feels great. I like it because is is easy and I can control how intense the stretch is.
Time Required: 2 min.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Your spine can be neutral. You don't have to flatten your back.
- Bend your right knee until the thigh is perpendicular to the floor. The shin can drop - it doesn't have to be in table top position.
- Bring your left knee up, rotating your left leg outward at the hip so that you can rest your left ankle on your right thigh just above the knee.
- Take your right hand to the outside of the right thigh and thread your left hand through the opening your crossed left leg has made. Grasp your hands behind the right thigh.
- Press your left thigh open with your left elbow as you simultaneously pull your right thigh toward your chest with your hands. You will feel a good stretch along the outside of your left hip. Experiment with the intensity of the stretch.
- Breathe deeply into the stretch.
- Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
- When you bring your knees up, concentrate on creating a deep crease at the hip, and on leaving your tailbone grounded to the floor so that the hip doesn't ride up along with the knee.
Knee folds are a good practice for this idea.
- As always, your shoulders and neck stay relaxed.
What You Need
- An exercise mat or firm but padded surface to lie on