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Monday, May 29, 2023

The way to Do the 90/90 Stretch to Squat Heavier and Transfer Higher

Squatting to depth is the envy of many a power athlete. Should you’re a aggressive powerlifter, it’s a should to keep away from any pink lights and missed lifts throughout your competitors. And for weekend warriors trying to improve power, deeper squats can result in increased one-rep maxes and extra confidence.

However if you wish to squat deep, you want cell hips. With out enough hip mobility, sinking beneath parallel safely and effectively shall be exhausting. The extra effectively you progress, the heavier weights you’ll be able to carry.

A person doing the 90/90 stretch.
Credit score: jack hanrahan health / Youtube

Hip mobility isn’t all concerning the squat. Extra cell hips usually imply much less low again ache; a better time strolling, operating, and lunging down to choose up after the children; and more practical lifting mechanics. The most effective mobility workout routines in your hips is the 90/90 stretch. Study all the pieces you should learn about it proper right here.

Editor’s Notice: The content material on BarBend is supposed to be informative in nature, however it shouldn’t be taken as medical recommendation. When beginning a brand new coaching routine and/or food plan, it’s at all times a good suggestion to seek the advice of a trusted medical skilled. We aren’t a medical useful resource. The opinions and articles on this web site will not be meant to be used as prognosis, prevention, and/or therapy of well being issues. They aren’t substitutes for consulting a professional medical skilled.

The way to Do the 90/90 Stretch

No tools? No drawback. You don’t want something fancy to carry out the 90/90 stretch. A yoga mat or train mat will make this transfer extra snug, however you don’t want any barbells or dumbbells to do an train that may contribute to a heavier squat.

Right here’s do the 90/90 stretch, step-by-step.

Step 1 — Again Leg Set-Up

A muscular person setting up their back leg for the 90/90 stretch.
Credit score: jack hanrahan health / Youtube

Sit on the ground along with your ft straight forward of you. Bend your proper knee to 90 levels. Decrease your proper leg in order that the within of your proper knee faces the bottom. Alter your proper knee to align along with your proper hip, along with your knee “pointing” to the correct aspect of the room. Keep a 90-degree angle between your thigh and calf, protecting your ankle impartial. The underside of your proper foot ought to be dealing with the again of the room.

Coach’s Tip: Bracing your palms on the ground or perhaps a yoga block whereas organising is okay. Particularly in the event you’re new to the place, hold your left leg free and cozy whereas getting your proper leg into place.

Step 2 — Entrance Leg Set-Up

A muscular person setting up their front leg for the 90/90 stretch.

Credit score: jack hanrahan health / Youtube

Hold your proper (again) leg in place. Bend your left knee to 90 levels. Decrease your left leg in order that the surface of your left knee faces the bottom. Deliver your left thigh according to your hips in order that your knee is “pointing” on the area in entrance of you. Keep a 90-degree angle between your thigh and calf, protecting your ankle impartial. The underside of your left foot ought to be dealing with the correct aspect of the room. Attempt to hold your higher physique tall.

Coach’s Tip: Should you battle to maintain your higher physique steady and supported, strive positioning a yoga block or rolled-up towel beneath your entrance hip.

Step 3 — Chest Up

A muscular person setting up their chest for the 90/90 stretch.
Credit score: jack hanrahan health / Youtube

Make any changes you should preserve this place. When you’ve established each legs at 90 levels, attempt to sink your knees towards the ground. Hold your shoulders again and down with a tall chest with out shifting back and forth. Inhale deeply, sitting up straighter. Exhale deeply, sinking your legs deeper down into the bottom. 

Coach’s Tip: These steps have ready you for the deepest a part of the stretch. At this level, make any micro-adjustments earlier than beginning probably the most intensive a part of the stretch.

Step 4 — Hinge and Breathe

A muscular person hinging their hips for the 90/90 stretch.
Credit score: jack hanrahan health / Youtube

Inhale to make your physique longer. On an exhale, hinge ahead over your entrance (left) leg. Hold your shoulder blades again and down however hinge ahead so far as potential. For a maximal stretch, strive lifting each your left ankle and left knee up towards your shoulders as you hinge down. Maintain this place and breathe for 60 seconds. Repeat on the opposite aspect.

Coach’s Tip: If you should create extra space in your higher physique, arrange a yoga block in entrance of you in order that your palms can relaxation there as a substitute of on the bottom.

90/90 Stretch Units and Reps

Mobility workout routines like this don’t have the normal set and rep schemes you’ll see with issues like one of the best barbell workout routines and different exercises. As an alternative, you’ll be holding these stretches statically.

Widespread 90/90 Stretch Errors

For athletes accustomed to hefting heavy barbells, stretches are typically probably the most intimidating strikes to sort out. Listed here are some frequent errors to keep away from when doing the 90/90 stretch.

Forgetting to Breathe

Power athletes usually overlook to breathe beneath a loaded barbell — at their very own peril. Nevertheless it’s maybe much more frequent for athletes to neglect deep, regular respiratory throughout isometric workout routines like planks or mobility workout routines like 90/90 stretches.

To assist your muscle mass loosen up and profit most from this place, attempt to breathe deeply and persistently all through your stretch. Take deep, gradual breaths into your stomach. With every inhale, take into consideration making your physique longer. Whenever you exhale, think about sinking your physique deeper into the stretch.

Utilizing the Incorrect Modification

Everybody’s physique is completely different. As such, there is no such thing as a one place that may look the identical for everybody. It’s straightforward to surrender or just say, ‘This stretch doesn’t work for me’ if it doesn’t really feel proper on the primary strive.

So long as there is no such thing as a ache with the positions, be happy to take your time and discover a place that works for you. That may imply leaning into the stretch extra on one aspect or the opposite, or solely utilizing one leg at a time for this stretch (a 90 stretch, quite than a 90/90).

Should you want extra space between your abdomen or higher physique and your hips if and while you sit up or lean ahead, use a yoga block beneath your palms to convey the ground to you. Attain out and ahead as a substitute of instantly down.

[Read More: The Best Foam Roller Exercises for Mobility and Better Movement]

You can too place a yoga block or towel beneath your entrance hip in the event you’re having bother protecting your chest up.

No matter yoga block utilization, ensure your shoulders stay squared over your hips as a substitute of leaning over to both aspect. Keep away from sinking to the aspect to help an upright torso. Place a yoga block at your aspect as wanted to convey the ground to your hand and help you in your efforts to maintain your torso upright and centered.

Retaining Your Entrance Leg Passive

One of many deepest expressions of this stretch includes hinging down along with your torso whereas pulling your entrance ankle and knee upward concurrently. It’s straightforward to take a seat within the place and hinge ahead with out absolutely participating your hips. By participating your ankle and knee, you’ll actively recruit your hips and problem your full vary of movement.

It’s completely okay to take a seat on this place. Particularly in case you have very tight hips, you may not must carry out this transfer with the very best depth stage. However you is perhaps prepared for extra and neglect to lift your ankle and knee. 

Notice: Elevating your ankle and knee doubtless gained’t truly transfer your leg in any respect. As an alternative, you’re aiming to activate your muscle mass and deepen the stretch.

90/90 Stretch Variations

The static 90/90 stretch is wonderful however isn’t the one train variation. You’ll discover strikes including a dynamic aspect to your mobility exercises right here.

Energetic 90/90 Stretch

An lively 90/90 stretch is what it appears like. The common 90/90 is carried out statically — you’ll maintain one place for a sure period of time, then swap sides and do it once more. As an alternative of a static stretch, this variation may have you shifting from one place to a different fluidly.

[Read More: Active Stretches for Optimal Recovery & Performance]

Goal to maintain your legs as far other than one another as potential whilst you’re switching from one aspect to the opposite. If you should use your palms to anchor your self and hold your chest upright, achieve this. You should use a yoga block on both aspect of your physique to assist preserve a tall chest and a non-tilted place. Alternatively, you’ll be able to lean again barely to brace your self along with your palms behind you.

Energetic 90/90 With Hip Extension

Deliver the lively 90/90 stretch to the following stage by including a layer of hip extension to the tip. You’ll elevate your hips up — suppose, a single-legged hip bridge — on the finish of every rep.

By including a hip extension, you’ll be bringing your hips via a good higher vary of movement. It’s regular so that you can have a higher vary of movement on one aspect than the opposite. Goal to emphasise your much less cell aspect to assist convey stability to your type.

90/90 Get-Up

This transfer is much like the 90/90 with hip extension, however you gained’t be going into full hip extension. As an alternative, you’ll be beginning in what’s going to appear like a low kneeling place and shifting right into a tall kneel.

[Read More: Use the Dumbbell Deadlift to Perfect Your Pull]

With this transfer, you’ll be rising your capability to maneuver via completely different ranges of movement and produce your hips to a lockout place within the deadlift. Consider the 90/90 stretch as typically impacting your squat and additionally your deadlift. This motion variation will make it much more useful to your deadlift, since it should mimic that lockout movement on either side.

90/90 Stretch Options

If the complete expression of the 90/90 stretch is just too intense for proper now, that’s okay. Listed here are some alternate options to combine into your repertoire.

90/90 Hip Elevate

For this transfer, you’ll be mendacity on the bottom along with your ft up on a weight bench. Scoot as wanted to convey your thighs to be perpendicular with the ground.

When you’re in place, you’ll carry your hips. This can take you thru a spread of movement you may not normally have in your program. It should additionally strengthen your hips on the prime of your vary of movement, paying particular consideration to your glutes. This can allow you to change into each extra cell and stronger — a superb mixture for squats and deadlifts.

Pigeon Stretch

You may need encountered this transfer as a pose in a yoga class. However you can even sink into the pigeon stretch as a part of your mobility coaching within the fitness center. Just like the 90/90 stretch, you’ll be focusing on one hip at a time with this transfer.

Should you’re unaccustomed to this transfer, you’ll be able to keep up along with your palms on yoga blocks or the bottom. As you get extra snug on this place, you would possibly scoot decrease and finally decrease to your forearms.

Lizard Stretch

The lizard stretch is perhaps uncomfortable at first, because it’s a reasonably superior various to the 90/90 stretch. You’ll must get accustomed to a really deep lunge. You’ll be able to step by step improve your vary of movement over time.

As with the pigeon stretch, you’ll begin by supporting your self on a yoga block or your palms. Progressively, you would possibly work your means right down to your forearms. It’s okay if it feels extra snug on one aspect than the opposite. Over time, your vary of movement will improve so that you simply’ll be extra even on each side.

Muscle groups Labored by the 90/90 Stretch

What does it imply to stretch your hips? Listed here are the muscle mass concerned within the 90/90 stretch.


The bottom of your entrance leg goes to get a number of consideration right here, and your glutes are the largest a part of that. Goal to stimulate a stretch within the glute of your entrance leg as you sink into this place.


Your piriformis is answerable for serving to your hips rotate — which is precisely what’s occurring in the course of the 90/90 stretch. The piriformis is a part of your buttocks and it assists with pointing your leg and foot, as properly. 

A person stretching on a n exercise mat.
Credit score: Maridav / Shutterstock

[Read More: The Split Squat Can Improve Mobility and Leg Strength]

Giving it the eye it wants will be exhausting because it’s a small muscle and might get overwhelmed by the glutes. Focusing on the piriformis is one purpose the 90/90 stretch is so useful.


The psoas is a muscle that runs alongside your decrease again down via your hips. It helps flex your hips and is a vital a part of strolling because it helps carry your thighs towards your physique. This muscle will get a number of consideration from the again leg portion of the 90/90 stretch.

Advantages of the 90/90 Stretch

The significance of hip mobility can’t actually be overstated, both for the overall inhabitants or aggressive power athletes. Listed here are simply a few of the causes that the 90/90 stretch will be useful.

Deeper Squat

Should you’re a power athlete, you’re doubtless aiming to develop a deeper squat. Whether or not you’re trying to compete in a powerlifting meet or just domesticate extra confidence at depth, a deeper squat is the cornerstone of a fantastic leg day.

[Read More: The Best Squat Racks for Home Gym]

Your legs is perhaps very robust, however with out the requisite hip mobility, a deep squat is perhaps out of the query. Improve your consolation beneath critical challenges — particularly on the backside of a snatch — with the higher hip mobility that 90/90 stretches afford.

Extra Practical Motion

Should you lunge down or hinge ahead to place your pet’s collar on while you exit for a stroll, you’re tapping into hip mobility. That can assist you transfer extra simply, doing stretches just like the 90/90 can change into an necessary a part of your each day repertoire. Integrating this transfer right into a each day, five-minute mobility exercise might help you progress a lot simpler on a day-to-day foundation.

Doubtlessly Diminished Low Again Ache

Stretching via your glutes and your hips (which is what the 90/90 stretch is all about) could assist scale back again ache considerably. Analysis means that static hip stretches might help scale back non-specific low again ache. (2)

Your squat type could also be more likely to undergo if it’s important to overcompensate for a scarcity of hip mobility with different components of your physique. Each time there are overcompensations, you could be extra susceptible to damage and ache. Mobility gained’t stop all accidents, however it will probably assist make you extra resilient and fewer more likely to inappropriately compensate in a dangerous means.

Who Ought to Do the 90/90 Stretch

Hip mobility is a vital a part of so many facets of power coaching. Even day-to-day life will be extremely impacted by what your hips are in a position to do (or not do) with out ache. 


Whenever you’re new to the fitness center, you’re doubtless simply studying squat to depth, whether or not along with your body weight, kettlebells, dumbbells, or barbells. If lunges are part of your newbie’s repertoire, you’ll additionally must faucet right into a deep properly of hip mobility.

As a newbie, you’re simply beginning to develop confidence in your self as an athlete. Rising your hip mobility will allow you to be taught to carry out workout routines to enough depth, acquire confidence in your actions, and set you up for fulfillment within the lengthy haul.

Aggressive Power Athletes

As a powerlifter, you’d higher hope you’ll be able to hit a squat all the way in which to depth throughout your competitors — in any other case, you danger getting a no carry name. To soundly and persistently squat heavy weight to beneath parallel depth, cell hips are fairly non-negotiable.

The identical goes for strongman athletes who must squat right down to navigate extraordinarily heavy hundreds — from stones to logs — into their laps and all the way in which up. Weightlifters additionally should be extraordinarily snug on the backside of their vary of movement beneath a heavy barbell. CrossFitters want all of the hip mobility they will get for these high-end field jumps.

[Read More: Nutrition for Athletes — How to Eat for Muscle and Performance]

Cellular hips are a necessity in all these power endeavors, and the 90/90 stretch is an efficient approach to domesticate that.

Common Gymgoers

Even in the event you solely train recreationally, cell hips are a superb asset. Stretches just like the 90/90 will allow you to develop an even bigger capability for motion. You’ll additionally probably get stronger at your finish vary of movement, which might help you develop much more confidence in your favourite workout routines.

Stretching from All Levels

The 90/90 stretch is an effective way that can assist you transfer extra in the course of the day. It’s additionally extraordinarily helpful for intra-workout stretching, warm-ups, and cool-downs — an all-around win-winning stretch.

Whether or not you need a deeper, extra assured squat or are simply searching for one other hip mobility stretch so as to add to your routine, go for the 90/90 or any of its variations. Your vary of movement will enhance over time, and also you’ll have stronger coaching periods to point out for it.


Nonetheless have questions concerning the 90/90 stretch? We’ve obtained solutions.

What in case your knees don’t contact the ground in the course of the 90/90 stretch?

It’s alright in case your knees don’t contact the ground. The stretch is much less about what the place appears to be like like and extra concerning the intention behind it. Should you’re sitting up tall and hinging ahead over your entrance leg, think about pulling your entrance knee and ankle towards your chest as you hinge right down to create the largest stretch. This pressure, quite than what the place appears to be like like, is what’s going to produce your stretch.

Do your legs need to be at precisely 90 levels within the 90/90 stretch?

The quick reply isn’t any. Everybody has completely different limb lengths and physique varieties, so everybody’s angles and skills shall be completely different.

However the longer reply is that the nearer you might be to 90 levels, the deeper you would possibly be capable of sink into the stretch. In case your diploma is smaller — say, 60 to 70 levels — you may not be involving your hips as deeply as you may be.


  1. Konrad A, Močnik R, Titze S, Nakamura M, Tilp M. The Affect of Stretching the Hip Flexor Muscle groups on Efficiency Parameters. A Systematic Evaluate with Meta-Evaluation. Int J Environ Res Public Well being. 2021 Feb 17;18(4):1936.
  2. Hatefi M, Babakhani F, Ashrafizadeh M. The impact of static stretching workout routines on hip vary of movement, ache, and incapacity in sufferers with non-specific low again ache. J Exp Orthop. 2021 Jul 27;8(1):55.

Featured Picture: jack hanrahan health / Youtube

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