90 90 Stretch: The Perfect Guide For Beginners

The hip area is a very intricate part of our body. There are approximately 17 muscles that are associated with the hip area. Countless people suffer from hip problems when they age. To deal with these problems, some different exercises and stretches can improve the hip muscles.

Almost every athlete and the runner does this stretching to get rid of stiff hips and calves. Though there are different exercises, too, this is the most preferred stretch selected by them. 

Not only improvement but also better flexibility and hip mobility could be achieved if hip exercises are done correctly. Training the hips and lower body parts is equally important as the other core parts.  Like other workouts and exercises, 90 90 stretch is also a valuable stretch for people going through tight hips problems or hamstrings problems. 

Some of the best-suggested hip exercises consist of squats, lunges, and hip thrust. Different stretches comprised 90 90 hip stretches. People may think that this is just a mere stretching, but no, this 90 90 stretch can help in many ways.  90 90 stretch helps to avoid injuries when they get old or if they are athletes.

Training the lower body is extremely important if anyone wants to live a life with fewer bone and muscle problems. 

1. Why Flexing the Hips is Important?

There are essential muscles in the front of our hips, which are called hip flexors. These hip flexors help in connecting the spine and the whole lower body. Training them properly is extremely important for some reasons:

  1. Hips create stability. Like the other core muscles of our glutes and the torso, the plexus is also highly important for the pelvic region and the spine.
  2. People who participate in explosive movements like jumping, running and swimming need a very flexible lower body. Hip flexors play a significant part when people take part in activities like swimming or running, or jumping. If the hips, glutes, or other core parts are not appropriately trained, they may get injured or badly hurt. 
  3. If you are not flexing your hips properly, training them can see problems even when you are doing daily works like walking or jogging. You can even see tight calves or other severe movement issues.

Make sure to not only stretch your hips but also train them properly for the better strengthening of your hip flexor muscles. 

2. What Is 90 90 Stretch?

This stretch is underrated, and few people know about the fantastic results of doing this stretch. There are different varieties of the 90 90 stretches. This stretch’s main motive is to involve every hip muscle and joint for better flexibility and movements.

The 90 90 stretch was basically made for people who go through tight hips issue, which eventually go through hip pain and makes it impossible to run. Sometimes, people also face pelvic or even glute stiffness while trying to do squats or lunges. Doing the 90 90 stretch before opting for squats or lunges can help people eliminate hip stiffness. 

90 90 stretch
By: Ivan Samkov/Pexels.com

The best thing about 90 90 stretch is that this affects the outer hip parts of our body. Also, this is greatly effective what the deepest layers of our hip muscles and joints. The Different variations of 90 90 stretches include the following-

  •  the original 90/90 hip stretch
  •  the 90 90 trail leg stretch
  •  the supine 90 90 stretch

While trying out every variation of the stretch, keep in mind not to overdo or stretch forcefully. People going to the gym regularly or having a personal trainer always ask the trainer how to stretch properly if you are not well accustomed.

3. How To Do a 90 90 Stretch? 

Doing the 90 90 stretch for the first time can be quite hard for some people. Not everyone has a very flexible body like regular runners or athletes. For those people who are trying this for the first time, keep some things in mind before doing it:

  1. Don’t rush, and try to make the 90 90 stretch perfect just for the first time. Doing the stretch correctly takes time. 
  2. If the below instructions are not followed properly, you may get seriously injured in the hip joints or muscles or hamstrings. 

3.1 The Standard 90/90 Hip Stretch

To do the usual 90 90 hip stretch, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Being comfortable is the first and foremost thing to relax your hip muscles
  2. After this, try finding a comfortable seat on the floor and sit down on a yoga mat that is at a flat level. 
  3. Always try and keep the back of the body straight without hunching the shoulders.
  4. Place one leg in the front and position it at a 90-degree angle.
  5. Then position the other leg of yours at your side and also bent at a 90-degree angle.

TIP:- finally, after doing this stretch properly, try to bend your upper body to touch the belly button with your knees. This makes the stretch even hard and is usually done by people who are accustomed to this stretch. 

Suppose you face a problem with your hamstrings, which may pain if you are doing this stretch for the first time. Try not to rush. Take time and do the stretch in ways you are comfortable with.

3.2 The 90 90 Leg Trail Stretch

This stretch pinpoints not only your hip muscles but also your legs. This modification is made for people who want to train the legs too along with hips.

  1. Do the same steps as done in the previous stretching method. 
  2. After stretching the front leg of yours at a 90-degree angle, place your hands on your chest. 
  3. After placing your hands, turn your upper body facing sideways.

This is very unusual, and it can stretch your hips a lot more than the first one, so always take precautions. If people feel a pinching pain in their hips while trying this stretch,  immediately see a doctor to make sure your hip muscles are not injured. 

3.3 Supine 90/90 Stretch

This Stretch is a modification of the original 90 90 stretch. This stretch is always done by staying in the supine position.
1. First, lie on your back on a yoga mat
2. Lie ahead of a bench and place both legs above the bench. Try to relax for 30 seconds to relax your pelvic part.
3. After that, fold the right leg into a 90-degree angle and relax it on the left leg’s knee.
4. Placing the hands at the back of the left thigh, try pushing the knee towards your chest.
5. Try to hold this position for approximately 30 to 45 seconds for better results.
For better results, people should try doing this 2-5 times with both legs.

4. Muscles Involved While Doing the 90 90 Stretch

Different muscles are involved and are affected while doing the 90 90 hip stretch. Doing this stretch helps improve flexibility and range of motion. Completing this stretch can help to rotate the Hip flexors externally. Internal rotation is also seen if the stretching is done properly.

90 90 stretch
By: Andrea Piacquadic/Pexels

When you do the stretch, the muscles affected depend on the modifications or how much effort you are going. The muscles that are usually involved in internal rotations are:-

  1. Gluteus maximus– The gluteus maximus muscle is situated in the buttock area and is always regarded as one of our body’s strongest muscles. It is connected to the tailbone or coccyx and also the other surrounding bones. This muscle is responsible for the movement of our hips and thigh.
  2. Gluteus minimus– Gluteus minimus muscle is the smallest part in comparison to the other three gluteal muscles. It is situated deep in the gluteus medius muscle. The gluteus minimus is the same as the gluteus medius in structure, function, nerve, and blood supply. The primary function of this muscle part is hip stabilization. 
  3. Gluteus medius– Located in the posterior hip, this muscle part is a big-shaped muscle. This part extends from the proximal femur to the ilium. Situated with the gluteus maximus gluteus minimus, this belongs to the gluteal region of our lower body. The function of this muscle part is rotating the thighs internally.
  4. Pectineus– Situated in the anterior thigh, the pectineus is a flat muscle and a vital muscle region. With the help of this muscle, we can flex the thighs connected with the hip joint.
  5. Adductor Magnus– Adductor Magnus is one of the six muscles present in the thigh’s middle compartment. This is a broad muscle that is triangular in shape and forms a septum, which helps divide the anterior muscles and the posterior muscles of the thigh. Adductor Magnus also consists of the two crucial parts of our lower body-
    • the hamstrings
    • the adductor

    The functions of Adductor Magnus are cooperating with the hamstring group and extending the thigh. This muscle region also serves as an important stabilizer for the pelvis region.

  6.  Adductor Brevis– This is also a triangular muscle that is also flat and is found in the inner thigh region. This is a part of the adductors of the thigh. These muscles produce and help in the hip region’s movement. This part takes part in muscle-flexing and external rotation of the legs.

The muscles involved in external rotations are:-

  1. Sartorius– The sartorius muscle is the longest muscle located in the front of the thighs. The sartorius muscle starts from the pelvic region and ends near the inner part of the knee. The function of this muscle includes hip rotations and flexing the knees. This muscle is an integral part of the lower body, and the mean operations like hip rotations or knee extensions are done with the help of this muscle. 90 90 stretch is one of the best exercises to train the sartorius muscle. Training the sartorius muscle for runners or athletes.  
  2. Quadratus femoris– Being a small muscle, the quadratus femoris has loads of essential functions to do. It helps in stabilizing the hip joint by keeping in place the head of the femur. It also produces external rotation of the thighs attached to the hip joint when the lower limb is anatomical. In certain positions, the quadratus femoris also sometimes assist in the abduction and adduction movements.
  3. Psoas major– Psoas major is also a long muscle located lateral to the vertebral column. The functions of psoas primary consist of lateral rotation and flexion of the thigh at the hip area. 
  4. Psoas minor- Psoas Minor is a slender and long muscle situated in front of the Psoas major. The psoas minor is a weak muscle, and its absence usually doesn’t result in any body’s reduced functionality. Hence its exact function is not properly clear.
  5. Piriformis- The piriformis muscle is like a flat band size located in the buttocks near the top of our hip joint. This muscle is an essential part of the lower body that helps in different vital movements. It helps in stabilizing the hip joints and rotates and lifts the thighs away from the body.

This enables people to walk, shift their weight from one leg to another, and maintain body balance. This muscle is also involved in sports activities that include rotating and lifting the thighs. Summing up, in almost every lower-body movement, like the motion of the hips and legs, this muscle is involved.

90 90 stretch
By: Hanna Postova/Unsplash

In conclusion, the stretch helps in triggering almost every internal and external rotator. Depending on how much pressure you are creating while doing the 90 90 stretch, you actually affect your muscles involved. But doing the 90 90 stretch properly is extremely important for the best results and improved hip movements. 

PAILS/RAILS or Progressive and Regressive isometric loading: This is an Isometric protocol created by Dr. Andreo Spina and is taught at the Functional Range Conditioning certification. The main aim of PAILS or RAILS is to expand our active range of motion, which helps us know about our joints and other body parts. Check the website to get a better insight into this.

So this was the ultimate 90 90 stretch guide to help people do the stretching better. Even this can help in training their lower body better. Doing this stretching every day can improve people’s overall lower body flexibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Does a 90/90 Stretch Mean?

Sitting with one leg bent at a 90-degree angle in front of the body and the other leg bent at a 90-degree angle behind the body is known as the 90/90 stretch, which targets the hips.

2. What Advantages Does the 90/90 Stretch Have?

The 90/90 stretch can treat lower back pain, promote flexibility in the hips and groin, and enhance hip mobility.

3. How Should I Perform a 90/90 Stretch?

Sit on the floor with one leg 90 degrees in front of you and the other 90 degrees behind you to perform the 90/90 stretch. To feel a stretch in your hips, lean forward and hold for 30 seconds. Next, switch legs.

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