Say hello to the couch stretch, your new best friend for loosening up those stiff hips and bringing a spring back into your step. It’s a brilliant little move that targets your back, quads, core, and, most importantly, those tight hips of yours.
Here’s my guide on how and why to make the couch stretch a part of your everyday routine. And for you seasoned stretchers out there, I’ve got three advanced versions lined up.
Why Should You Do the Couch Stretch?
Ever felt that aching stiffness after a long day sitting at the desk? Your hips don’t like all that sitting, and it can lead to muscle imbalance and not-so-great posture.
This simple stretch not only fights off the aches and pains but also helps keep injuries at bay. You’ll be feeling brighter, both mentally and physically, in no time.
You can add the couch stretch to your daily schedule as a quick 5-minute routine or start off with just 10-20 seconds per side if you’re new to it.
How to Master the Couch Stretch
Don’t fret, the couch stretch is completely safe to do daily, and I always recommend this stretch to all my clients and family.
Remember to keep your core engaged for good alignment. This will help keep your upper body upright and your muscles engaged as you hold the position. A cushion or mat under your knee is a good idea to cushion against hard surfaces.
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:
- Bend your left knee, resting your shin against the back cushion of a couch or chair, toes pointing up.
- Make sure your left thigh aligns with your body.
- Position your right foot in front, with your knee directly above your ankle.
- Need some extra support? Grab a stick or use a chair to help maintain your posture.
- Keep your spine long, core engaged, and glutes active. Helps to tuck the hips a little.
- Aim for square hips.
- Try to hold the position for at least 20 seconds per side. Everyone’s different, so go at your own pace and gradually increase the time. Regular practice—daily or every other day—will bring the best results.
- Repeat on the other side.
Three Advanced Couch Stretches
- Bench Couch Stretch: All you need is a box or bench for your foot. If you’re feeling particularly tight, start with your knee a bit further away.
- Wall Couch Stretch: This one’s great as you can always find a wall. As you get better, try to bring your knee closer to the wall without arching your back. The ultimate goal is to get your back as close to the wall as possible.
- Elevated Couch Stretch: Not for beginners, this version is for those looking to push their limits. Take it slow, use support if needed, and remember that it can be quite challenging. Tristan recommends holding off on this one until you’re more comfortable with the basic couch stretch.
Up for a little challenge?
For the month of June, all members at Witness The Fitness will be competing for the most minutes spent doing Couch Stretch! Winner gets a free massage with Julia from Balance and Flow Remedial Massage
Your challenge: 7 Days of 30-60 seconds each side.
Following this intro challenge, I strongly encourage you all to do this stretch 2-3 times a week, more if you run or do regular weights training!
Stay stretchy, Santiago.
Written by Tristan M. Forbes