Lunge (Hip Flexors)

09.05.2016 |

Episode #3 of the course Quick yoga poses at the desk by Elaine Oyang


Hip flexors are muscles that help bring the legs in toward the torso by contracting (shortening). Sitting on a chair is an example of shortening the hip flexors, as the legs are flexed toward the hips rather than extended, as in standing. Long periods of sitting without periodically performing counterposes can result in short, tight, and weakened hip flexors. Excessively tight hip flexors can also lead to a chronically stooped posture, as they are constantly bringing the torso and legs closer. The following stretch is an extension of the hips to counter the long periods of flexion, and it is an effective pose to stretch out the hip flexors.

3.1 Quick yoga poses at the desk

What you need:

– A desk, chair, or wall space

What to do:

1) Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on the desk, chair, or wall in front of you.

2) Bend the right knee and step the left foot back to come into a lunge. Make sure your right knee is aligned over the ankle and not past the toes. If your right knee is lunging past the toes or if you’d like a deeper sensation, lengthen your lunge by stepping the left foot further back. If you feel unstable or the stretch is too deep, step the left foot closer to the front to shorten the stance. Press strongly back into the left heel.

3) Stay here for 8 breaths, then step the left foot forward toward the right foot. Come up to an upright standing position. Pause and take a couple of breaths, then notice if you feel a subtle “length” on the left leg. Repeat on the other side.

Why this works:

A simple lunge is one of the most straightforward stretches to target the hip flexors and quadriceps. Anatomically speaking, you “extend” the back leg to stretch the hip flexors, which connect the legs to the trunk. This pose is important for those who sit for long periods of time to balance the musculature of the hips and legs.


Recommended book:

“Yoga Anatomy” by Leslie Kaminoff


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