What Does The Butterfly Stretch Do?

We all carry stress in our hips.

by  |  Protalus • 

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The butterfly stretch, aptly named because of how the knees knock out to look like butterfly wings, is a great stretch to release tension. It helps open up the spine and hips. From kids at dance class to runners to people who sit at their desks for work, everyone can benefit from the butterfly stretch. 

Benefits of the Butterfly Stretch 

The butterfly stretch opens up and relieves tension in the hips. Flexible hips help with optimal function of everyday movement, since hips control a lot of the quality of your movement. 

Butterfly stretches also help with overall flexibility and posture. You can do this stretch both before and after a workout. It only takes one or two minutes to feel the butterfly stretch’s benefits. 

What Is the Butterfly Stretch Stretching? 

Walking, running, and sitting can all cause stress in the hips, so it’s important we take care of that part of the body by stretching. The butterfly stretch is a good way to release tension and increase flexibility in the kinetic chain. What is the kinetic chain? Simply put, the kinetic chain is the system of musculoskeletal structures that connect the back to the hip to the leg to the knee to the foot. By doing the butterfly stretch, you are opening up the hips and elongating the spine which is taking care of the kinetic chain. 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. 


How to do the Butterfly Stretch

  1. Sit upright with a tall spine. Press the soles of the feet together, so that the knees drop to the floor. If you want a deeper stretch, move your feet closer to your body.

  2. Root through the legs and sit bones. Grasp the ankles or outside edges of the feet with your hands. Engage your core slightly and gently lean forward until you feel a stretch. You should feel the stretch in your inner thighs, hips, and lower back. Stay in the stretch for one to two minutes.
  3. Remember, your breath is your friend. Ease through the discomfort by focusing on your inhales and exhales. Listen to your body; if the pain is too intense, stop or modify the stretch.


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