The 90/90 hip stretch is quite a helpful way to make your hips more flexible. Picture your legs forming 90-degree angles – that’s the idea. It’s good for beginners and it is even one of the best hip exercises.
What is the 90/90 Hip Stretch?
The 90 90 hip stretch is an easy but powerful exercise to make your hips more flexible. It’s called “90 90” because of how you sit on the ground with both knees bent at 90-degree angles. One knee is in front of you, and the other is to the side.
The 90/90 hip stretch is a bit intense because it works your hip joints in two different ways. It turns one hip outwards, like when you cross your legs and one ankle rests on the opposite thigh. That’s called external rotation, and it’s pretty common.
But the other part, internal rotation, isn’t something we do a lot in everyday activities. It’s when your foot moves away from your body. This movement can be tricky, especially if you have hip issues.
When you do these rotations, you’re using a bunch of muscles that help your hips move in all directions. So, it’s like giving your hips a good workout to keep them flexible.
Read more: Exercises to Avoid for Shoulder Impingement
How to Perfect the 90/90 Hip Stretch
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to correctly perform the 90/90 hip stretch:
- Sit on the floor with your legs in the “90 90” position.
- This means both knees are bent at 90-degree angles.
- Your front leg is bent in front of you, with the outer thigh and shin on the floor.
- The back leg is bent to your side, with the inner thigh on the floor.
- Keep your back straight & your stomach muscles tight.
- Gently lean forward a bit to feel a stretch in your front hip.
- Hold this for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
- When you’re done, slowly come back up. Then, switch your legs and do the same stretch on the other side.
Muscles Worked During 90/90 Hip Stretch
The 90/90 hip stretch mainly works on these important muscle groups:
- Hip Flexors: These help bend your hip joint. The stretch makes them more flexible and relaxed, which helps your hips move better.
- Hip Rotators: These muscles allow your hip joint to turn. The 90 90 position in this stretch focuses on them, making your hip rotation smoother.
- Glute Muscles: These are your hip muscles. They’re quite crucial for hip strength and stability.
- Adductor Muscles: These are the inner thigh muscles. They also get a gentle stretch in this position, which improves your overall hip movement and balance.
Benefits of the 90/90 Stretch
- Better Hip Movement: This stretch is excellent for making your hips more flexible. Doing it regularly can help your hips move much more easily in everyday activities and sports.
- Improved Sports Performance: It’s not just about flexibility. This stretch can also give you an edge in sports. It helps with agility, balance, and coordination, which are all super important for doing well in activities like running, dancing, or yoga.
- Less Back Pain: Doing the 90 90 hip stretch helps strengthen and stretch your hip muscles. This can ease strain on your lower back, which means less discomfort and better overall body health.
- Relief for Sciatica: If you have sciatica, this stretch is often recommended. It works by releasing tension in certain hip muscles, which can be connected to sciatic pain. Regularly doing this stretch can help manage and reduce sciatica symptoms, which can make a big difference in how you move.
90/90 Stretch Variations
Here are a few different ways you can do the 90/90 stretch:
Elevated Hip Rotation (External)
Stand up and put your leg on something slightly lower than your hip. This makes the stretch gentler. It’s especially good if you’re just starting or if moving a lot is tricky for you.
Put your front leg like you would in a regular 90 90 stretch. Lean forward a bit. Since you’re standing, it’s not as much of a deep stretch, and you don’t need to think about twisting your other leg.
90/90 Hip Regression: Easing Into the Stretch
To make it a bit easier, you can sit on a cushion or put something under your knees. This reduces how much your hips rotate, letting you gradually get into the stretch.
Adding a Twist for Extra Benefits
Here’s a different way to do the stretch: as you lean forward, twist your upper body towards your front leg. This gives your back and waist muscles a good stretch.
Progressing with Longer Holds and Dynamic Movements
Hold the stretch for a longer time. Start with 30 seconds and try to work up to a minute or more.
The Importance of Consistency
Keep in mind the secret to getting better is doing it regularly and slowly making it a bit harder. Pay attention to how your body feels and make the stretch a little tougher in a way that’s both challenging and comfortable for you.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Let’s talk about some common mistakes that people tend to make when doing the 90/90 hip stretch so that you will be able to avoid them altogether.
Postural Pitfalls: Keeping Your Spine Straight
A common error is curving your back when you lean forward. Make sure to maintain a straight spine during the stretch.
If you find yourself hunching forward, it means you might not be using your hips correctly. Using a hip hinge helps target the hip muscles better.
Avoiding Overstretching: Take It Slow
Another common error is trying to push the stretch too far.
While this may seem like a straightforward move, getting the internal hip rotation right can be tricky, if you’re finding it tough, go slow and gently work your way into it.
Maintaining Even Weight Distribution
Remember to keep your weight balanced between your front and back legs. Try not to lean too much on one side, it’s all about finding that sweet spot.
Listening to Your Body
If and when you feel you have overdone yourself, remember to take breaks. Listen to your body, and don’t overdo it.
Alternative Stretches for Hip Mobility
Here, let’s take a look at some other stretches you can do for your hips.
Pigeon Pose: Yoga’s Hip Opener
The pigeon pose is a popular yoga move that really helps your hip muscles. It’s awesome for making your hips more flexible. In this pose, your front leg is bent like in the 90/90 stretch, but the back leg is straight. This is a great one to start with because it gets you used to the 90-degree turn of the front leg.
If you do this stretch often, it can make your hips move better, loosen them up, and ease any ache in your lower back.
If you prefer lying down, there’s a similar stretch called the reclining pigeon pose that gives you the same benefits.
Frog Stretch: Targeting Inner Thighs and Groin
The frog stretch is a really good move to make your hips more flexible. It focuses on the inner thighs and groin, which can sometimes feel tight and restrict how your hips move.
Here’s how you do it: Get into a wide hands-and-knees position, then gently push your hips back. The best part is you can adjust this stretch to fit how flexible you are and it is perfect for beginners.
Butterfly Stretch: Simple Yet Effective
The butterfly stretch is an easy but really helpful exercise for making your hips more flexible. Mostly, it works on your inner thighs and hips to make them more flexible and let them move better. Here’s how you do it: Sit on the floor and put the soles of your feet together. Then, gently lean forward, and you’ll feel the stretch.
The butterfly stretch is also quite a good way to relax and ease stress.
That’s A Wrap!
There you have it: everything you need to know about 90/90 hip strength. We hope you had a fun and insightful read with us.
Remember, improving your hip mobility isn’t just about exercise—it’s about making your daily life easier and healthier. With more flexible hips, you’ll stand taller, move better, and lower your chances of getting hurt. So, keep up with this stretch and enjoy the benefits of healthier, happier hips!
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