The 90/90 hip dynamic stretch (or simply 90/90 stretch) is a popular exercise primarily targeting the hip joints and the muscles surrounding them. This exercise is named after the position the legs assume, which is 90 degrees at both the front and back knees and hips.
Here are some of the benefits of incorporating the 90/90 hip dynamic stretch into your exercise/daily routine:
Improved Hip Mobility
The primary benefit of the 90/90 stretch is an increase in hip mobility. It targets both internal and external rotation of the hips, which is often neglected in other stretches. Improved hip mobility will increase lower back stability and can help to decrease lower back pain.
This dynamic stretch activates various muscle groups in the hips, such as the gluteal muscles, hip flexors, and rotators, preparing them for physical activity. These muscles allow the femur to lock into its socket getting ready for heavy load movements.
Reduced Risk of Injury
By increasing mobility and flexibility in the hips, the exercise can potentially reduce the risk of injuries in activities that require hip movement, like running, squatting, or even simple walking.
The exercise can help correct postural imbalances by stretching and strengthening the hip muscles. More mobile hips can lead to better overall posture, especially for those who sit for long periods of time, which can “turn off” the glute muscles.
Alleviation of Tightness and Discomfort
People with tight hips always get that feeling like their bodies are getting old. But that feeling is usually the body telling you to do something about it. The 90/90 stretch can alleviate feelings of tightness or discomfort in the hips, which can be beneficial for those with sedentary lifestyles and for those who engage in intense physical activities.
Enhanced Athletic Performance
Athletes, especially those participating in sports that demand hip flexibility, like martial arts, dancing, or gymnastics, can benefit from improved hip mobility, leading to better performance. If I were still an athlete I would perform this exercise every warm up before competition.
Improved Balance and Stability
A more mobile and flexible hip joint can contribute to better balance and stability, which can be advantageous for daily activities and athletic endeavors. This stretch can help contribute to a more leveled pelvis which us chiropractors look for when assessing the pelvic girdle.
The 90/90 stretch can be adapted to be more or less challenging, depending on one’s flexibility and strength levels. It can also serve as a starting position for several other mobility exercises, making it versatile in a mobility routine. This stretch accompanied with the pelvic tilt is a great way to feel balance between the low back and pelvis.
Like many stretches and mobility exercises, the 90/90 requires focus and attention to form, helping in building a mind-body connection and increasing body awareness. This stretch may look easy but if you’re super tight, you will feel this right away. If you feel like you can’t even start this exercise due to the tightness then start with a seated figure four stretch for your hips and build into the 90/90 as your goal.
This stretch doesn’t require any equipment, making it easy to perform almost anywhere, whether you’re at home, in the gym, or traveling. Those that have joint sensitivities try to find a floor that is cushioned like thick carpet or a thick yoga mat.
To gain the most benefits from the 90/90 hip dynamic stretch, ensure that you are performing it correctly. If unsure about your form or if you have fear from your underlying medical conditions, consult with your health professional for guidance. Or contact us at The BodyFix Chiropractic to consult with Dr. Mario.
If you are unsure how to perform this stretch, check out Dr. Mario’s explanation and tutorial on the 90/90 Stretch.
* Besides the 90/90 Exercise, Dr. Mario has great recommendations to strengthening parts of the body and air home stretches to relieve pain. Follow & Subscribe to @TheBodyFixChiro Youtube Channel to see more.