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How to Do a Figure 4 Stretch

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Tight hips can be a real pain in the behind, but the icon 4 stretch can modernize flexibility and mobility in your hips, glutes, and piriformis—a small muscle that can wilt inflamed when your hips are tight.

This hip stretch can be helpful any time you finger sore and tight. Ideally, the icon 4 stretch should be performed without a dynamic warm-up or during a post-workout stretch, says Tom Biggart, a physical therapist and strength mentor in the greater Boston area.

Here’s how to perform the icon 4 stretch — and how to work it in your routine.

How to Do the Icon 4 Stretch

  • Lie on your when with your feet unappetizing on the floor.
  • Cross your right toddle over your left knee and alimony your right foot flexed.
  • Bring your left knee toward your chest. Reach your right hand through your legs and interlace your fingers just unelevated the ruckle of your left knee.
  • Using your arms, pull your left knee toward your chest, pausing when you finger a stretch in your right glute and hip.
  • Hold there for at least five breaths (though you can hold the stretch for up to two minutes) then release and repeat on your left side.

Want to transpiration the intensity of the icon 4 stretch? One of the easiest ways is to transpiration the wile at which you wrench the knee on the leg you’re stretching. “More knee wrench will increase the stretch, and less knee wrench will subtract the stretch,” Biggart says. You can moreover interlace your fingers in front of your shin instead of overdue the knee for a deeper stretch.

How Does the Icon 4 Stretch Help?

Sure, it feels good, but what is the icon 4 stretch unquestionably doing for you?

The icon 4 stretch can help alimony your hips and glutes healthy and mobile. There are six variegated muscles that are stretched when performing it, Biggart says — the piriformis, gemellus superior, obturator internus, gemellus inferior, obturator externus, and quadratus femoris. This group of muscles helps to rotate the thigh outward at the hip joint. “One stretch plus six muscles equals warm and fuzzy feelings,” Biggart adds.

In particular, the stretch you finger deep in your glutes is a muscle tabbed the piriformis, which runs from the wiring of the spine to the top of the femur and helps with hip rotation and stability.

Because of its close proximity to the sciatic nerve, problems with the piriformis muscle (like swelling, tightening, or muscle spasms) can irritate the sciatic nerve and rationalization pain and discomfort in the hip and buttocks — a painful condition called piriformis syndrome. “Keeping the piriformis mobile can reduce irritation or pinch of the sciatic nerve,” Biggart says.

Figure 4 Stretch Variations

Want to get plane increasingly out of the icon 4 stretch? Try one of these variations.

Seated Icon 4 Stretch

  • Sit on the floor with your knees wilting and feet unappetizing on the floor.
  • Place your hands on the floor slightly overdue your hips, to help you stay balanced.
  • Cross your right toddle over your left knee and alimony your right foot flexed.
  • Keeping your lower when in its natural arch, printing your hands into the floor and lean your chest toward your knees, stopping when your right glute and hip start to finger a stretch.
  • Hold for at least five breaths, then release the stretch and repeat on the opposite side.

Figure 4 Pose at the Wall

  • Lie on your when near a wall, with your legs up the wall.
  • Bend your knees so your feet are unappetizing versus the wall.
  • Cross your right toddle over your left knee and alimony your right foot flexed. Printing your left foot firmly into the wall. Interlace your hands overdue your left knee, or let them rest on the floor abreast you.
  • Keeping your sacrum (the bony zone on the when of your pelvis) on the floor, slowly move your left foot lanugo the wall. As you do, your left knee should naturally move toward your chest. Pause when you finger a stretch in your hips and glutes.
  • Hold for at least five breaths (or work up to two minutes per side). Release the stretch and repeat on your left side.

(Looking for plane increasingly variety? This list of glute stretches includes two increasingly icon 4 stretch variations!)

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