3 Stretches To Avoid, Plus Safe Swaps

It some point, a little training snobbery is okay, especially when the risk outweighs the reward. Stretching on the whole is a safe practice, but not every stretch is good for every body, and unless you’re a contortionist, pro athlete or seasoned yogi, there’s no need to assemble your parts into a potentially compromising position. Here are the top three stretches you should avoid and why — and a replacement move that is safer and better for your body.

Hurdler’s Stretch

This stretch is (obviously) good for hurdlers, but jumping over a hurdle is truly the only real-life activity that benefits from this position. Its purpose is to stretch your hips and deeper hip rotators, but when most people attempt it, they usually end up putting the inner portion of their knees under stress — risking potential ligament and joint capsule injury — rather than stretching their hips.

90/90 Hip Stretch

Sub In: 90/90 Hip Stretch

Having both knees at a 90-degree angle means that this stretch properly targets your hips and reduces the pressure on your knees. Hold each position of this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds to hit all aspects of your hip rotators. Repeat two to four times each side.

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat, then turn to the side and let your knees fall to the floor. Your front thigh should be straight out in front of you and your opposite thigh straight out to the side — both knees bent 90 degrees. Hold here and press your pelvis downward. Then hinge forward at the hip with a straight back and drop your chest toward the forward knee. Sit back up and rotate toward your back leg.

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