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Pain with stretching? Try this.

Feeling your butterfly stretch at the front of your hips? That’s a problem.

A butterfly stretch is a nice way to open the hips, work on external rotation, and get some inner thigh and low back stretch—but if you’re starting in the wrong position, you’re not getting the full benefits.

The issue is how much flexibility you’re starting with, and some folks can’t easily position their hips to get the full benefits of this stretch.

Check out the “Problem” photo:

  • Hips tipped backward

  • The weight of the upper body is then pulling away from the stretch (seen by the low back angle)

  • The hip flexors, abdominals and arms are having to activate to pull you toward the stretch

The problem is, static stretching works on the idea of relaxing and releasing into a posture. Lots of folks report gripping and soreness at the front of the hip in this position. And holding tension in your body isn’t letting you relax. Additionally, you’re not in a position to allow gravity to assist you in this stretch.

So let’s fix it.

The easiest fix is to elevate your hips. You can achieve this by sitting on a yoga block, a couple rolled up yoga mats, a BOSU, or a step. How high you need to elevate will depend on where you’re starting—and will change as you gain flexibility.

Here’s what we’re seeing on the “Correction” photo:

  • Hips elevated on a rolled mat

  • The weight of the upper body is in front of the hips

  • The anterior muscles can relax, allowing gravity to take you into a deeper stretch

You’ll know you’ve found the right position when you feel your body is relaxing into the stretch instead of fighting to get into it.

Hold for a minute and do a couple reps!

At motivPT, we'll get you moving in a healthy way. If you have pain, weakness, or imbalance, consider booking with us for an online Physical Therapy routine customized to fit your individual needs. Book your free 15 minute consult to talk with Dr. Alex about your specific concerns and to learn more about how we work!

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