Mobility is one of the most critical aspects of being successful as an athlete, playing a huge role in not only performance but also injury prevention. Many of my athletes experience tight hips which can eventually start to lower your ability to jump high, sprint fast, and compete on the field or court. That’s why as a part of my warm-up routine I love to have athletes incorporate the 90/90 stretch to open up the hips and prepare for whatever lower body strength or speed work you’re ready to get into.
WHY DO THE 90/90 STRETCH ?
I like to have my athletes use the 90/90 stretch for a number of reasons:
- Simple to use
- Easy for most athletes to access (doesn’t require a ton of flexibility)
- Great for mobilizing the hips and lower back, and piriformis
- Actively opens and warms vs. a static stretch
- Prepares the lower body for vertical jumps, bounds, sprinting, and lifting
- Helps prevent hip, hamstring, low back, and groin injuries
This is one of those drills we’ll always throw into the active warm-up series or feel free to add it into this dynamic warm-up my athletes use every day. Keep reading for how to do the 90/90 stretch and how to program it into your session.
How to do the 90/90 stretch:
Come down to the floor as if you’re getting into a pidgeon pose. You should have your weight over on one hip with the knee bent and the foot tucked under your body. From here, instead of straightening the back leg out behind you, you’ll pull that opposite leg in so that the knee is bent and laying flat against the bottom of your front foot. Next open the hips up a bit so that both of your legs are creating a 90 degree angle underneath you.
Think about lengthening the torso up as much as possible to sit tall. From here, keep the back straight as you start to hinge at the waist and bend forward so the chest lowers down toward that front shin. You should immediately begin to feel a stretch in the front hip. If you need a bit more in the stretch, play around with directing your torso from one direction to another as you start to loosen up.
Hold the 90/90 stretch for at least 30 seconds on each side for 2 – 3 rounds. To switch from one side to another, keep you feet in place and simply lift and switch the knees to flip over until you’re facing the opposite direction. You should stay at 90 degrees in each leg.
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