How to do 90/90 Hip Stretch Properly

If you have a lifestyle where you sit a lot, you may experience a lot of hip tightness. This can happen a lot for people who work out a lot too. The 90/90 hip stretch are a targeted stretch that internal and external hips.

Maintaining mobility for your joints is crucial. The 90/90 hip stretch is an effective exercise to improve and maintain hip mobility.

To do this exercise:

  • Sit on the floor with your knees up and bent at 90 degrees from the ground.
  • Keep your feet a little wider than shoulder-width.
  • From here, twist your hips and upper body to the left then slowly lower your knees to the floor.
  • The outside of your left thigh and the inside of your right thigh should be touching the floor while you maintain 90-degree angles at your knees.
  • Keep your back as straight as possible with your shoulders and eyes in line with your left thigh.
  • Lower your chest towards your knee as far as it can go. Do this by bending at the waist.
  • When you are as low as possible, ensure your shoulders are parallel to the floor. Hold the position then return to starting position.
  • Repeat a few times then switch to your right side.

What muscles does 90/90 hip stretch work?

When doing this stretch you will find that one hip will rotate internally while the other rotates externally.

The 90/90 hip stretch targets the muscles surrounding the hip capsule.

1.      Glutes

The 90/90 hip stretch engages the muscles in your backside. The glutes are the strongest and longest muscles in your body.

You use them to walk, run, and climb up steps.

By doing this stretch you will help the glutes retain mobility.

2.      Psoas major

This is a spindly muscle found in the lumbar region of the spinal column. It is the muscle that helps with the external rotation of the hip joint.

When this muscle tightens, it leads to lower back pain.

The 90/90 hip stretch ensures that this muscle remains flexible.

3.      Hip flexors

The hip flexors connect the lower back to the hips, groin and thigh bone.

These muscles help stabilize the lower spine. They also help with walking, posture, alignment, joint mobility, flexibility and balance.

Sitting for prolonged periods can make the hip flexors tight.

This can lead to lower back pain or hip pain.

The 90/90 hip stretch ensures that you reduce the risk of injury and improve flexibility.

4.      Adductors

These are the muscles of the hip that bring your thighs together. They are in the inner parts of your thighs.

They help with the flexion and rotation of the hip joints and the knees.

The 90/90 hips stretch helps your adductors maintain flexibility and mobility.

90/90 hip stretch benefits

There are many health and fitness benefits to the 90/90 hip stretch.

They include:

1.      Increased mobility

Mobility refers to the range of movement around a joint. The healthier your joint, the fuller your range of motion.

Improved mobility helps muscle balance and good posture.

As earlier mentioned, the 90/90 hip stretch engages muscles around the lower back and pelvis. Improving mobility in these regions helps reduce the risk of lower back pain or injury when doing exercise and other activities.

2.      Increased flexibility

While mobility looks at the range of motion of a joint, flexibility refers to the ability of your joints to move through their range of motion without pain.

Increased mobility and flexibility will help your exercise faster and move easier.

The 90/90 hip stretch will help you reach your fitness goals faster while also minimizing the risk of joint conditions such as arthritis.

3.      Reduce hip pain

Keeping your hips loose and flexible by using the 90/90 hip stretch reduces the risk of hip pain from activities.

You use your hips when you sit, walk, run, bend, lift weights etc.

That area is one of the most utilized part of your body. Doing the stretch helps reduce any pain that would come from overuse or tightness from inactivity.

4.      Improved hip function

When you do the 90/90 hip stretch nearly every day, you find that your hip function improves tremendously.

Any activity that involves the hips runs smoothly. You can walk longer, run faster, bend, or lift more weight without worrying about pain.

Alternatives to 90/90 hip stretch

You may need some alternatives to the 90/90 hip stretch due to injury or to alleviate the monotony.

If you also don’t have full hip mobility, you can use these alternatives until you can add 90/90 hip stretch to your sessions.

1.      Clamshell exercise

This exercise is a great alternative to the 90/90 hip stretch. It strengthens your hip flexors and glutes.

It can relieve hip tightness and back pain.

To do this exercise:

  • Lie on your side with your knees opened up to a 45-degree angle.
  • Rest your head on the hand of your lower arm and hold your hip with your other hand.
  • Line up your heels with your glutes.
  • Ensure your hips are stacked. One thigh should be directly over the other.
  • With your heels together, lift your upper knee as far as possible without moving your hips. Make sure your lower leg remains on the floor.

Do this up to ten times then repeat with the other leg.

2.      Side angle

This is a yoga pose that is used to stretch your glutes and adductors.

To do this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet four feet apart.
  • Rotate your left foot outward with your right foot at 45 degrees.
  • Bend your left knee to 90 degrees and raise your arms to shoulder height.
  • Extend your left arm to the floor and your right hand above your head.
  • Face your torso forward and hold for five breaths.
  • Release and return your arm to shoulder height.
  • Point both feet forward then return to starting position and switch to the other side.

3.      Butterfly stretch

This is a simple 90/90 stretch alternative.

To do this exercise:

  • Sit on the floor as though cross-legged but keep your feet together.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Put your hands on your feet then lean forward pushing your elbows against your thighs.
  • Hold for half a minute and repeat up to four times.

90/90 stretch mistakes to avoid

Ensure you don’t ignore any cramps. If you feel one coming on, try adding a rolled towel under your hand on the side of your front leg.

If you feel any pinching sensation, stop the movement immediately to avoid injury.

Avoid bending your back to get maximum results.

If you are returning to exercise from a long break or back or hip injury, consult your doctor first if the 90/90 stretch is safe for you.