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Stretching Your Hip Abductors

Low-back pain is an epidemic now reaching worldwide proportions. We decided to put together a short video of some very simple stretches you can do to help prevent and treat it. Simply put, your hips effect your back and this video will help loosen up your hips. Follow along and feel free to get in touch with any questions. Thanks, and enjoy!

Video Transcript:

"Hi, I’m Gavin Ravens from Miami Stretch Therapy and I want to show you a very simple way to open up your hips and help with lower-back pain. So, today we’re going to stretch very easily and simply your abductors. Your abductors in your hips specifically. So, what Abduction means is the movement of bringing your leg outward. So, abduction would be if your standing, or on the ground, bringing your leg out like that. We’ve going to a adapt move from pigeon and I’m going to show you a few different progressions of it that you can do in order to get more flexible over time. Ok. We also have our assistant here, Kizzy. This is our new stretching cat. And if she’s ok with it, we’re going to borrow the matt from her for a few minutes. So, let’s see. Hello! Thank you! So, pigeon is very, very simple. You’re basically going to lie down on your leg. And what I mean by that is your going to bring it across your body just like that. Straighten out your back leg and keep your hips squared up forward. You don't want your hips to round off to the side like that. In the beginning, some of your may have an issue doing this just getting into this position, so just practice bringing your leg across. Hold it there for a few seconds, and then come out of it and take a rest. For the rest of you, I want you to progress on to the next step. Which is, coming down on your forearms. So you have the position, your hips are squared up, you might be feeling a stretch here in your abductors which are right here and right here. And I want you to come down on your forearms. Just like that. And you want to exhale into the progression. Take a deep breathe, exhale, and go deeper, deeper and deeper. When you get to the deepest point, just hold it for a few seconds, and then come out of it and relax. Ok, we’ll switch to the other side. Perfect, just like that. Now my left abductors are tighter than my right, so I may need to spend a little more time easing into this one. Consider the first move your warm-up and then as you go on to the second, third and so forth repetitions, to go a little deeper. That’s nice for a warm-up right there. And now I can feel it’s opened up a little more. So the reason you want to do repetitions more than longer holds, especially in the beginning, is you want to promote blood flow into your muscles. You don’t want it have a lack of oxygen in your muscle, it will contract it and make it more difficult for the stretch. Perfect, come out of it again. And go back to the other side. So, as you get better and better at pigeon, you can come down. You can get all the way down to the floor and get your forearms flat. Ok, and once that gets real easy you can bring your leg up and across more. Now be careful, you don’t want your right leg to be on more than an angle than 90 degrees or so. Ok, like that right there. You can find difference positions of the arch of your leg. So, this one is about paired up with my right breast as I come down. And you see that’s pretty tight on me. If I bring it over and across more, it’s gonna be a little bit different stretch. I can get a little bit deeper there. Still, a really good stretch. Ok, switch to the other side. Get that right angle up nice and high. Now, I can’t even get down into that, so what I would do is very gently, leaning into it, progress into the forearms, down to the ground. And then bring it across to the other side. Man that is a really good stretch! I encourage anyone with back pain, stress in the hips, or even just general hip pain to do this every day. Now, we’ll move on to the next portion of this video and I’ll show you an easier stretch to do, that you can do anywhere and everywhere. This one save for more at-home when you have time to go more in depth. Ok, so here we are with our second abductor stretch. This one is going to be easier for those of you who have back issues, maybe can’t get on the floor to do the other stretch and generally it is more convenient because you don’t need to get on the floor anywhere. You can do this sitting in your chair at work, you can do it anywhere you can sit down basically. So go ahead and take a seated position. You want to make sure that number 1, your hips stay flat on whatever you are sitting on. I use a coffee table because it’s the perfect high for me and it’s sturdy. So keep your hips flat and cross your leg over. You want the outside of your foot resting on the meat of your opposite knee. In this case, my right foot is on top of my left knee. And back to the first point, make sure that your hips are not rolling at all. You want to have both sit bones, both of your butt bones, right down on the table or the chair. And once in this position, the stretch is really simple. We’re just going to lean down into it, like so. Ok, now it’s really easy as you lean down to roll off to one side. Keep your core tight, keep your back a little bit tight, and if you do get any back pain on this, just back up. Maybe sit up a little more erect and you can actually hold on with your hands and pull yourself down. Or maybe hold on to the chair or the table and lean in a little more gently as well. So that’s the first position of this stretch. Remember, we go down nice and easy into it, exhaling. Get as deep as you can and then hold it for just a few seconds. Then, come on out of it. Remember, we want to pump some blood into there. As you get more advanced with it, you don’t need to take your leg down every time, but in the beginning I would recommend that to really relax the muscle and then ease into it again, nice and deep. Ok. So many of you are going to notice that as you switch legs here, like mine; my left is tighter, so my knee is actually higher. So, as you progress with this, you want to do more stretching on one side than the other. And I would break that up to different sets. So if I do one set of 7 repetitions on my right leg, I might do 2 sets of 7 on my left leg. And continue that stretching program until my legs are virtually even and then you can go from there, adjust as necessary. Over time you might even notice that one hip actually gets tighter than the other, and then it reverses. And in some cases - my right hip used to be tighter than my left and it’s just the way that it goes. So, just do your best to even out and do your best at progressing that way. So, nice and easy, and in this case this is tighter, so I’m going to push down on this side in a little more strength as I come down. A little more pressure. Good. And again. And good! Now the second position, the second part of the progression is going to be on the outside of the ankle. So the first one is the foot on top of the opposite knee. This time we’re going to bring it just above the ankle bone on the opposite knee. And this is going to target different muscle. Ok, so nice and easy. The hip bones are strait, flat. If you want to hold on to something, you can do that too. Bring your arms right in front if you like. Beautiful, switch sides. You can even use your elbow here for more weight as you come down into it. Good. And on to the third progression. So take your time with these. You don’t need to just ahead too fast, but just go at your own pace and find what works for you. Third position is going to be halfway up your shin. So, right about there. And you don’t want to bring your other leg too far over. You don’t want to compensate. You want to keep the left leg pretty much in front of your hip and then bring your other shin right on the midline there. And then, again, I’m going to use a little extra pressure with the seat, my coffee table. And yeah that’s a really good one, that’s really deep. Perfect, and switch sides. You can see what a difference there, right? My knee comes way up on there. So, I’m going to take my time getting into that one. And if you find that you may need it, grab the bottom of your foot here, push down and use leverage. Be careful with of knee, and rotate as you come down into it. Make sure both your hips stay flat on the surface that you’re stretching on. Good. Ok! Thanks for watching! Those are our progressions on our hip abductors and again that helps with lower-back pain, hip-pain, any kind of muscle pain you have going on there. Possibly even sciatica. We’ll cover more in future videos, but for now I hope that helps. And if you’re like to get in touch for any personal sessions, you can get in touch with us by email at or direct by our phone at (786) 548-0360. Thanks for watching, I hope it helps. Have a great day, take care."


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