90 90 Stretch: How to Perform and Benefits

One of the best exercises for hip mobility is the 90 90 stretch. Research has shown that a lot of people unconsciously lead a sedentary lifestyle; a lot of sitting down at home and work  for really long hours. It is stated that an average person sits down for at least nine hours in a day. Some others sit for even way longer than that. This does not really do much good.

The hip is one of the first places to get tight in your body  from excessive sitting and working. Sitting down for very long hours could hurt the hip muscles by making it become tight, it can shorten the flexors and weaken the glutes muscles. Exercising regularly is generally very healthy and helpful for the body.

WHAT IS THE 90 90 STRETCH?

The 90 90 stretch is a mobility exercise where one is seated and  the hip is rotated externally, while the other hip is rotated internally. When seated in this way, both of your knees will form 90-degree angles.

The 90 90 stretch  exercises the hip capsule, glutes minimus and gluteus medius. So many muscles are stretched simultaneously, this is what makes the 90 90 stretch effective. It basically increases hip mobility, which can help reduce the risk of injury and pain, being able to perform this stretch shows that your  hips  are strong, mobile and  in good condition.

WHY IS HIP MOBILITY IMPORTANT?

The hip is where a huge percentage of the body’s mass is centered on. The hip is also susceptible to injuries. That is why the muscles in this region must not be strong and flexible. It is also the for movement.

Hip mobility affects the day to day efficiency of people especially athletes as they need to be in good shape for the various physical activities  they would engage in. Good mobility can reduce the risk of injuries and  ensure balance.

90 90 Stretch: How to Perform and Benefits
90 90 Stretch

HOW DO WE PERFORM THE 90 90 STRETCH?

This stretch is best performed when the body is warmed  or after normal exercises. During this movement, you will  aim to rotate one hip externally and the other hip internally. To fully achieve this, the front thigh is in front of the chest with a 90 angle and the back thigh is also at a 90 angle from the chest

Follow this guide lines to perform the 90 90 stretch properly

  • First, assume a sitting position (on the floor).
  • Bend one of your legs in front as though you are rotating your hip outwards (this is the external rotation of the hip).
  • Let your  leg and knee be level on the ground. If you are doing it right, your leg will form a 90-degree angle and your foot will be pointed outwards. Your second leg goes to the back now (internal rotation) with your shin and ankle level on the ground.
  • Make sure you form an angle of 90-degree;this is achieved by simply bending your knee.  Your back should remain erect as much as possible ,try not to bend to one side or the other. Try to keep your back straight and resist the urge to bend to one side.
  • Sit into both hips properly by gently bringing the the raised hip towards the ground.
  • Remain in this position for a minute and take in deep breaths to relax . 
  • Complete 2- 3 reps on each side.

Doing this stretch at least twice a week  will go a long way to help the mobility of your hips. Completing this sequence just 2 times per week will help your hip mobility in one to two months of performing it.

WHY DO WE PERFORM THE 90 90 STRETCH?

The 90 90 stretch tests the rotational capacity at the hip. It says a lot about your hip health. There are about 15 muscles in this region all of which play a role in body movement. Most especially, this stretch is targeted at the flexor muscles of the hip.

The flexor muscles of the hip are; the iliacus and psoas major muscles, also known as your iliopsoas the rectus femoris, which is part of your quadriceps If these muscles  together with the tendons that hold them in place are overused, they become strained. In instances where these muscles are strained, mobility of the person involved is affected.

The flexor muscles of the hip are necessary in moving the knee towards the chest and in bending the waist. Hip strain if not treated properly could get worse overtime.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE 90 90 STRETCH?

1. It increases hip mobility this is the major function of the 90 90 stretch, being mobile enough reduces pain and improve function.

2. It Can Help Keep Your Knees Healthy.

3. It Can Improve Hip and Lower Back Pain: Hip and lower back pain could be as a result of tight muscles. The 90 90 stretch eases the pain  when theuscles are exercised

4. Flexibility of the hip.

5. Decreased back pain (especially the lower back)

6. Sway back (large inward curve in the lower back) is reduced.

7. There is also improvement of stride length.

Studies have proven that  when hip mobility is increased, lower back pain is reduced. The connection between tight hips and low back pain is well established. People can have relief of lower back pain if they resort to this stretch regularly.

90 90 STRETCH VARIATIONS

There are some variations to the 90/90 stretch, in this article we shall discuss the 90 90 trail leg stretch.This stretch enables you to work on your trail leg (the leg behind in a 90 90 stretch).

  • To achieve this stretch, you must:
  • Start at the same position as you did for the 90 90 stretch.
  • Rotate the trail leg and bend your torso so that you face the knee of the trail leg.
  • You can decide to put your hands on your chest and breathe through the stretch. Alternatively, the hand can be on the floor for support.

HIP MOBILITY EXERCISES

You will discover that not everyone may be able to get this exercise perfectly done. One of the challenges people face is that of trying to keep the torso in a vertical position. If the torso is not vertical, it does more harm than good because in the process of trying to be comfortable, you could be keeping the spine wrongly. People who have flexible hips however can attain this position and still retain their spine in place.

Other stretch exercise which enhances hip mobility are as follows

Pigeon Stretch

This is another stretch that addresses the flexibility of the spine, and mobility of the hip.

Below are some guides to the pigeon stretch

  •  The front knee is now to be bent making an angle of 90 degrees.
  • The other knee  is bent or extended as the case may be.
  • The back hip is rotated toward the front heel, and then toward the back foot.
  • Keep the chest erect, and only bear as much weight as possible.
  • If you feel comfortable with the knee bent, straighten out the back leg into the full pigeon pose.

Lying Hip Rotations

This is a simple method of achieving mobility in joints starting from the waist down. Your feet should be wider than your hips slightly and cross both legs over each other. With your waistline muscles, rotate the legs and pelvis to the opposite side and keep doing so so that you can feel the  thigh bones swiveling in the hip sockets.

Butterfly Stretch

This is targeted at optimal hip rotation. To achieve this stretch, sit erect with your feet together. Use  your hands to press your knee towards the ground and move your pelvis  towards your heel.

Frog Stretch

To achieve the frog stretch, place your hands and knees are on the ground. Let your knees be as far as possible from each other.  While keeping your feet on the ground rock back and forth.

Kneeling Lunge

This stretch address the hip flexor and psoas muscle. Assume a kneeling position on both knees, bring your knee foot forward and your left foot on the ground. Maintain erect position and let your hands rest on your knee. Extend your right knee backwards then lean forward into a stretch. Remain in this position for about  30 seconds before releasing yourself back into the normal position.

Cossack Squat

A Cossack squat is done by taking a squat at first. Then one leg is pushed out for balance. At this point, the muscles will be stretched. It is similar to doing a simple squat but this time with one leg stretched out towards the side.

SUMMARY

The 90 90 stretch is a quite a tasking  exercise but it is also one of the best way of assessing  and enhancing hip mobility. This exercise and a lot of other hip mobility exercises is something that can be done even at the comfort of your home. 

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