This is a modified pigeon pose used in Yoga to open up the hips. It stretches the pyriformis, hip joint, glutes, etc. This stretch is a must for runners with iliotibial band syndrome, patellofemoral problems and other running related knee injuries. Not only is this exercise effective it can be done by anyone using a chair or table. Athletes and runners should make this stretch a regular part of their flexibility routine.
I’m going to show you another stretch in this hip opener series. This is great for opening up and stretching the hip joint as well as the glutes, also great for Iliotibial band pain for runners and patellofemoralpain syndrome. I just want to show you that you can do the stretch essentially anywhere. It’s kind of a modified variation of the pigeon pose in yoga and we’re going to use this instead of doing it on the floor. You can use a chair, pretty much anything
Initially to make it a little easier, you’re going to have…so if this is 12 o’clock, my body’s facing there, I’m going to go about 10 o’clock, which is in line with the left knee. This makes it a little bit easier in the beginning. And what I want to do is I want to keep my back nice and straight so I’m not rounding at my back because a lot of the range is going to come from my low back. It’s going to keep my back nice and straight and I’m sitting into it. My right leg with the back leg is nice and straight, and if I want a stronger stretch I sit back into it, which is going to get this hip right here. I’m going to feel it in the loop through here as well as possibly even here, and even in that IT band sometimes and a lot of these back posterior structures on the outside.
So what I want to do is I want to work at searching for spots that are stiff or sticky. So I can even take my hand, I can put it right here and I can work at pushing down and opening up that hip, pushing out through here to externally rotating or opening that hip up. So I’m going to lean into it and I’m going to search for spots that are kind of tight along this whole chain. So that really works at opening up that hip.
Now, I can also add some external rotation to it with this and I can work at some rotation of my body. So I’m going to rotate my trunk towards my left side. So I’m rotating my trunk, too, now. So that gives me a lot of midback thoracic spine rotation and mobility too. You can also do the same thing, I can do it with my left hand and I can work at opening it up further and I can rotate the other direction. That really starts to open up, starts to hit it from different angles.
And if we want to make it tougher, so we’ll now bring this foot up more. So now I’m really getting into positions where I’ve got to have good mobility to even get that. It’s almost like a 90/90 position with my lower leg and my thigh bone, and I’m keeping my back nice and straight. So now I’m really getting a stretch in my hip. It’s kind of like that cross-legged position, too, where you have to have both your legs essentially in this position. So this really opens up that hip.
And remember, as I said, you can do some rotations here, too, turn your whole body, look to the left, and you work on going the other direction. And then search for spots. Push down here a little bit, lean forward keeping your back straight and look for those spots that are stiff through here, back here, and sit into it and search for those spots. And spend two, three minutes stretching out all that tissue, and then switch and do the other side. So from this side, basically, it would kind of look like this. So you can get another perspective and view in this position. And you can see that I have to keep my back straight again and I’m going to work at opening this hip up through here, take my left hand, push into that, and I’m feeling it a lot through here, the groin, this area, out through here. So any of these structures will stretch out and open up.
So I hope you find that helpful. It’s a pretty easy stretch as you get better and better at it, and it’s great for patellofemoralsyndrome, IT band syndrome and all sorts of other hip-related problems too.
Leave a comment if you have questions and let me know what you thought of the stretch.