The Couch Stretch – A Hip Mobility Tool

Stretching the hips?

Hips lie. We all know it. They make it seem like all is fine, and that they are taking care of everything. That is, until we do anything other than walking and you feel the stiffness in your hamstrings, your low back, & your soul.

A personal favorite of many has come to be known as “The Couch Stretch”, namely because you can perform it easily on your couch at home.

The stretch is relatively simple:

  • Place your knee on the floor, as close to the wall as you can manage
  • Bring your other leg up into a lunge position
  • Suffer – Lift your chest up and away from the floor
  • Squeeze your butt (Pushing hip into extension) and BREATHE
  • Add Rotation/Side Bending/Explore

I filmed a short video showing the movement and playing with some variations on it below. Take a look:

Improving Hip Mobility – Easy as 3 sets of 60s 😉

Worth noting is the scaling options that exist. First, if its too intense; Aim to build up to 30-60s in the position and really focus on your breathing. You are not in any danger here, so being dramatic won’t help your cause. Calm it down, work in and around the range of motion that is challenging and pulse back and forth.

Second, you can always move your knee slightly farther from the wall. Ideally, the leg is flush, but you can move it a few inches. Move it too far though and the effect is gone. The next logical option after a few inches away is to simply elevate the back leg. Using a couch is great for this and allows you further modulation of the stretch.

Utilizing the Couch Stretch

Try this sequence on your next training day;

A1. Couch Stretch30-60s hold + Pulse
A2. Single Leg Glute Bridge (Alternating)5-10 reps + 2s hold at top
Sample Warm-up/Finisher

This sequence will help improve your hip extension as well as strengthen the glutes and hamstrings that are going to be the primer movers in this case. By balancing this Strength/Mobility we can see better results from our training of jumping, running, squatting, and more.

There are so many variations and adjustments that can be made. I have Emmet Louis’ material to be immensely helpful in the mobility/flexibility realm, as well as Ido Portal’s Diagonal Stretch. I also wrote an article on that which can be read here.

So, give this a go. If it is your first time, then you now have a wonderful tool to take care of your hips & knees. If you know it, try working it back in if its been some time since you regularly used it.

Let me know how it goes, and Happy Training!

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