“Today, I’m going to show you how to do the figure four stretch, which is one of the best stretches you can do to open up your glutes and your tight hips,” says de Winter in this week’s episode. the right wayA YouTube series where New York City’s top trainers break down proper form in everything from strength moves to stretches.
Lie flat on your back in Figure Four pose and engage your lower abdomen slightly. Then you cross your right heel over your left thigh, just above the knee, and wrap your leg toward you with your hands wrapped around your left hamstring or around your shin. Pretty soon, you’ll feel a stretch along your outer left hip—and feel it amazing. But, like any stretch, there’s a right and wrong way to do it.
“The number one mistake I see all the time with quad stretches is lack of head and neck support,” says de Winter. As you reach your feet to deepen the stretch, you can lift your head and shoulders off the ground, then keep them there. All of this is to introduce tension into your upper body. So while your outer hip is getting the relief it deserves, you may find yourself needing a neck stretch tomorrow.
Instead, you’ll want to keep your neck and head completely relaxed on the floor. But if that seems like a bit much, know that you can always drop your leg, keep your left foot flat on the floor, and reap all the benefits of the stretch by just pressing that right knee away from you (gently). Palm of your right hand.
Be sure to watch the video from start to finish to learn more about mastering the figure four pose. Feel the goodness, fam.