Some days you might not have the time for a complete stretching routine. Sometimes all you have is a few moments for only one stretch—and who better to walk you through this than someone who is a professional stretcher.
“The biggest stretch that has helped every person I know has been hip stretches. There are different forms of this, but the Closed Figure-4 exercise is absolutely the best., says Hayley Lubow, stretching guru at Racked Stretch. “It activates your hip—including your muscles and joints—and starts to even work on muscles like your hamstrings. You get a lot out of this for very little effort.”
How The Closed Figure-4 Stretch Works
The wonderful thing about the Closed Figure 4 is that it works wonders. “No matter how sore or tight you are, it’s possible to fix your problems with the Closed Figure-4., says Jocelyn Rogiers, trainer and colleague of Lubow’s.
Even better, you can do this from anywhere. Including at home or at your desk:
At home version:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat.
- Bend your right knee in a 90 degree angle and place your right ankle over your left with your foot
- Interlace both your hands under your left thigh and pull your left thigh toward your chest.
- Gently let your legs go down (maintaining this shape) but maintaining your grip. You’ll need a few more reps for the stretch to really cause a difference in your body.
- Repeat four to five times and switch sides.
- Sit with correct posture with your feet planted on the floor.
- Put your right right ankle on top of your left thigh, right above your knee. You can place your
right hand above your raised knee to get more leverage, but be careful.
- Start to slowly go over with a straight spine. When you find your maximum range, relax into it for a few seconds then slowly go up.
- Repeat up to five times then change sides.