The Adductor Magnus is the deepest of the hip adductors and lays just anteriorly to the hamstrings. These muscles can be neglected in our everyday lives as we move in only one directional plane, forwards and backwards (walking, sitting, running, cycling, etc). As I mentioned in my previous blog, in ice skating the Adductor Magnus is used for back cross-cuts. In order to get geared up to practice this neat trick and prevent any adductor strain, it is important to stretch the muscles pre and post workout. Try this Yoga Tune Up® pose Leg Stretch #2, to not only stretch the Adductor Magnus, but to also feel the opposing leg in extension, which is the other important direction of movement for this ice technique (you can also find the pose and more like it on the Quick Fix for the Hips videos).
Watch our free Quickfix videos.
Read “Dear Hamstrings, Why Must You Be So Tight?”
Thank you for reminding me about leg stretch #2. My adductors are always limiting me in certain warrior poses where there is a tendency to to pull my hips back in. I will include this in my warm up to see if this helps.
This is a very clear article about the importance of stretching the adductor Magnus. Good Choice of videos, too. thanks!
Closing the chain on this pose is a game changer. It provides so much more stability for my hips. While I have been practicing this pose for years with an open chain ( leg away from the wall) I really prefer the release and length this version offers. Thank Jill Miller!
This was a really helpful review of the leg stretch #2 and all of the ways that it can be used to bring attention to and build awareness of hip stability, the use of the core, and external hip rotation. I liked this version with the foot on the wall – which serves to increase awareness. I will be using it a lot in the future.
J’approuve totalement! Bien souvent on a pas conscience de tout ça! Il est important d’avoir une bonne mobilité et une bonne amplitude de mouvement dans nos hanches, jambes. Surtout en y ajoutant un bloc sous le sacrum permet d’aider d’accentuer l’extension de la jambe allonger au sol.
I love this pose in the corner of a room, with closed chain on both feet – add a little PNF and magic happens!
I love how specific and clear the information and instruction is here, in this blog and in YTU. I really feel I’ve found what I’ve been looking for and solutions to problems I’ve seen in yoga classes. Thank you all.
Thanks for reminding us about the importance of addressing our adductors in our movement practices! I really appreciate YTU’s focus on making this particular adductor-focused pose an active, engaged stretch for the body. By using our hip muscles to stabilize the non-stretching leg’s hip on the floor, we’re developing hip strength and stability as we stretch the opposite leg.
I have been teaching leg stretch #2 as part of the leg stretch series to my yoga students and they are all quite happy with the results, as well as bringing awareness to their adductor muscles including the adductor magnus. They are also responding well to my emphasis on the lack of attention paid to the inner thigh muscles.
These quick fixes are great for working through one’s issues in the hips. Interesting to note the variety of actions in both the active and static legs which counter each other to make this pose fully come together.
Being a dancer, I always have very tight hamstrings. I used to always stretch in a similar way, but I loved the variation proposed here ! I think the strap is much better so as not to create tension in the arm and shoulder that are pulling the leg. Also, I like the use of the wall for more stability and to make sure to be in the correct position. When I do not use the wall, my hip tends to rotate outward (we call it “turnout”), and using the wall helps keeping the leg parallel. I will definitely keep this stretch in mind, thank you for posting it !
I just came from teaching a cross fit class and they love the YTU balls and wanted to know how to stretch there adductors . I told them I would find something for them next time. This simple leg stretch #2 is now in my tool box . Thank you. Nancy x
We did a hip opening sequence a couple of days ago that involved leg stretch #2 and my hips are still singing from it! Had to take a sauna to let out all the “stuff” that came out after all the adductor opening. We store thoughts, emotions and memories in our tissues for sure. This is a great hip opener to keep things from getting clogged 🙂
Thank you Kristen for this post! This is definitely one of my favorites YTU poses. This is an amazing strech but also an excelent exercice to bring awareness to our pelvis and focus on stability. Having the foot on the wall aplying the PNF stretching has helped me to bring stability to my sacrum and gain more range of motion in my hip in a safe way. After my hip surgery , practicing this stretch has relieved a lot of tension in my hip adductors.
This is one of my all-time favorite Yoga Tune Up poses. I get such a back relief when I do this pose. For some reason my adductors are so much more open than my hip rotators so doing this feels amazing for my adductor muscle group.
Just want to share this video on rolling out the adductors (specifically adductor magnus and gracilis) with TYU therapy balls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXAU7QRUyUE
This provides a nice warm up before leg stretches 🙂
This short video is a good reminder of taking advantage of walls to stabilize oneself. For dedicated yogis or self aware people we are used to concentrating on keeping that opposite hip/pelvis down on the ground as the other leg goes outward. But many people are not quite aware of either small or subtle lifts in the flat (supposed to be flat!) hip, or do not have the strength either of that leg or their arm to push that hip/pelvis back to the ground. I love how just setting oneself against the wall makes it so much easier , then as the student becomes aware of the right position or what it takes in their body to hold the opposite pelvis down they can gradually ‘graduate’ from the wall. I need to remember this!!
I found it interesting how the adductors are often tight and weak (unawared and underused). For example the Adductor slides is a good exercise to activate these muscles. On the other hand, tightness in adductors cause difficulties in asanas like baddhakonasana.
For my own practice this stretch is the only one I feel that gives me a relief from my lower back pain due to the weakness in my SI joint. Also, if I can find a corner of two walls, I can push both feet which gives me hip stability on the Tadasana leg and by pushing the wall with the abductor leg, I get a feeling of the head of the femur moving into the socket which feels absolutely amazing.
Tuesday night this week I taught a two hour hip opening YTU sequence that I was taught in my teaching training with Amanda Tripp and Todd Lavictoire. I performed all three leg stretches with my priv elite client and three hours later I received a text from him saying he felt unbelievable. He also said that if I can give him an extra 5 years on his career he would be so happy. I am a believer of this modality and will endeavour to read, read, read and read all I can get my hands on so I can be of service to my clients. Thanks JILL MILLER!!!!!
Great post Kirsten! I love doing leg stretch #2 and how I can really get into my psoas when I do it. It’s also phenomenal if you’ve got a super friend around to help you with a PNF! Thanks!
Love this too… to teach the true length of the adductors not when your pelivs rotates. In order to keep your spine and pelivs stable you will need more then just the abdominals. You will need to think about rotating your spine in the opposite direction of the leg… so if your right leg is out to the side, the right rotatores will need to fire more to counter balance the weight of the leg. More muscles are needed but this is often not cued and I have found it very helpful in this pose.
We did an open chain version of this stretch in class today. It was tricky for me to keep both PSIS bones on the ground to maintain a neutral pelvis. I am thinking that the closed chain version in the video where you put your extended leg against the wall would be a great assist for this.
Just discovered this pose in our YTU TT today, I’ve taught a variation of it in my yoga classes for years, but these cues have helped me to understand the real dynamics behind it.
I love this pose and it has always been one of my favorite stretches to do in the “fitness world”. Now that I know some of the tweaks and add-ons through Yoga Tune Up, it has made the stretch even better. So many people experience tightness in this area and could really benefit from adding this in to their practice.
This has always been my most delicious go-to pose when I need to open and expunge! The problem I see with practically all my students is keeping the pelvis neutral so that the hip of the extending, standing leg is not rolling towards the abducted hip. When I give the assist it never fails to elicit an AAHHHH.
This is in my top 10 favorite YTU poses. If I have any hip or low back tweaky-ness this is one of the first self treatments I go to. It also is put into about 1/3 of the self-care classes I teach at my studio.
Leg stretch #2 is particularly challenging for me. It seems as a yogi, my inner thighs should already be lengthy and spacious. But we overuse them so much that they are TIGHT. This particular stretch would be good to put at the beginnin and end of every yoga class for 3 weeks and see the result. My bet, it would be great!
I have issues with my hips which relates just as you said to neediing to stretch out all the mucles we use for an active life style. i am now using this and other stretches to help with long standing hip and leg pain. The reliief has been transformationl. Well written blog. Thank you.