Struggling with back pain and tight hips? You need to try the 90/90 stretch.

Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: thread the needle. 

If there’s one part of our body that probably needs a little bit of extra stretching, it’s our hips. Even if you don’t realise it, you’re probably lacking in hip mobility, which can affect your posture and your ability to exercise effectively, especially when it comes to strength training.

Particularly, if you’re working at home and sat at a desk all day, it’s so important to think about increasing your mobility and flexibility, as it can help make everyday activities feel more comfortable, as well as preventing injury and issues like back pain.

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What is the 90/90 stretch?

The 90/90 stretch is designed to improve your hip mobility, as it targets both of your hips and allows them to move in different ways. This exercise is great because it:

Promotes external and internal rotation: most hip stretches only allow for external rotation so this is more unusual.

Helps you rotate your hips properly: which will help you with everyday activities as well as sports like running and lifting weights.

Can reduce back pain: exercises that improve hip mobility have been shown to reduce back pain.

What muscles are worked in the 90/90 stretch?

This move mainly targets the mid-lower body including:

  • Glutes (buttocks)
  • Piriformis (top of the hip)
  • Psoas (lower spine)
  • Hip flexors (top of the thighs)
  • Hip abductors and adductors (outer and inner thigh)

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How to do the 90/90 stretch

  1. Start by sitting on a yoga mat or on the floor and bend one leg in front of your body so the sole of your foot is facing inwards. If you are able, your lower leg and knee should be on the ground and your leg should be in a 90-degree angle.
  2. Twist your hip inward so your other leg is slightly behind you and your shin and ankle are on the ground. Bend your knee so your leg forms a 90-degree angle and your back knee is in alignment with your hip.
  3. Try to keep your back straight and don’t bend to one side if you can avoid it. 
  4. Hold for a few seconds and then repeat on the other side.

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Images: Stylist

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