What Does The Butterfly Stretch Do?

We all carry stress in our hips.

 •  May 30, 2018

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We all carry stress in our hips. The butterfly stretch is a good way to decrease tension and increase flexibility in this area of our body. Whether we walk, run, or sit, our hips are a magnet for stress and are an important part of the kinetic chain.

What is the kinetic chain?  It is the connected bones, tissues, muscles and such of the foot, ankle, knee, hips, and back. Do you remember singing as kids:

The back bone is connected to the hip bone.
The hip bone is connected to the leg bone.
The leg bone is connected to the knee bone.
The knee bone is connected to the foot.

Well, that song is an easy way to think of and describe the kinetic chain. The bones and joints that are connected to help with everyday movement. The hips make up a major part of this chain, and play an important role in our physical health. Stretching the muscles connected to the hip, helps maintain optimal function and movement.

The butterfly stretch opens the hips, and stretches the hip adductors- a muscle in your inner thighs. Hip adductors help in daily activity and motion, such as closing your legs.

Fun Fact: The adductor magnus muscle is one of the biggest muscles in the human body. Take care of it with the Butterfly Stretch.

How to do the Butterfly Stretch

  1. Sit up tall with the soles of your feet pressed together and your knees dropped to the sides as far as they will comfortably go. 
  2. Pull your abdominals gently inward, inhale lift out of your hips and gently lean forward. Grasp your ankles or outside edges of feet with your hands, carefully pulling yourself forward until you feel a slight stretch.
  3. You should feel the stretch throughout your inner thighs, the utmost part of your hips, and your lower back.

Never push yourself past your limit. When you feel the stretch pause and breath and hold for 5, slow breaths.  

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