A modified Yoga Pigeon Pose for hip flexibility. Great exercise to improve hip mobility and help with iliotibial band syndrome, low back pain and for knee injuries. This is a good one to make a regular part of your mobility routine.
Relieve Tension and Stress in Pigeon Pose [Click To Tweet]
Hip Stretch Exercise Piriformis Flexibility [Click To Tweet]
Stretches to Relieve Lower Back Pain [Click To Tweet]
Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and Ayurveda herbalist. So I’m going to show you a quick hip stretch, how to mobilize and open up that hip. And I’m going to use a couch for this, you can use a chair. It’s like a modified pigeon pose. So in yoga there’s the pigeon pose that you can do on the ground, but we’re going to use the couch for this.
I’m going to do apiriformis stretch and show a couple of different variations. Now, I can start off with my knee relatively in line with my belly button, and in that position what I want to do is my back is nice and straight. So I’m just going to sit back, I slide my back foot backwards and I let it sit down, I start getting a stretch in that hip, in my glutes, my butt, all through this region; my back sits nice and straight. So now this is the basic stretch. If I want, I can work at gliding out towards my left, I glide out towards my right. So try to hit it from different angles and different positions. You might even decide to lean forward a little bit and as I lean forward I sit back, and again I hinge up that hip and that really starts to get that hip and that butt.
You can also try to really get that IT band, that outside thigh, too, with the stretch. Start adding some rotations, so I start to rotate my upper body. I can go further and further as I get comfortable, get a little flexion in, and start hitting it from various angles, getting more flexion. Go out to the front this way. Go out in this direction.
Now, I also like to, if I really want to target further, I take my right hand, in this case this is my left leg we’re stretching, so I place it right in front of that hip joint, my upper thigh, and I’m going to glide it down so the force is going this way, not too hard, just stabilize it. Now that really focuses that stretch, again, from that hip. So I push down a little bit, again I sit down, and now it takes away any pressure and load off the knee, makes this the target point.
So same thing happens if I want to go, let’s say, in this direction. I can take the other hand and I place it just above my knee and my thigh. So now that opens it up even further. I’m almost doing like a rotation, like an external rotation, so when I rotate outwards and then I open up that hip even further, and then I can again come and sit in various angles and various positions, I could get stretching of that hip.
So once again, I can do the same thing, I can do some rotation with it, I can push down here, I can rotate again and sit back more. I can even place this further out, my foot up more as I get more mobility. Now I can really work at sitting down even further.
If you find that you are starting to get the knee involved more, you can place your hand just above the knee on the thigh. This really allows me to open up that hip further while I’m sitting down. So now I’m getting a good amount of stretch, no load on my spine, it feels comfortable, and I’m also getting some front-of-the-hip stretch. So you get to hit multiple tissues this way.
So the key point is try to go in different angles, different ranges, work your way around, so that way you can really work at hitting the tissue, the joint capsule and the local muscles from various angles. Hang out four to five minutes, don’t force it, and try it out from your left and right sides and see which side is stiffer.
Leave a comment if you have questions and don’t forget to learn more about our recovery kit to treat iliotibial band syndrome HERE. Thanks.