Couch Stretch

Couch Stretch

The couch stretch is a highly effective mobility exercise designed to deeply stretch the hip flexors, quadriceps, and improve hip extension. Named for its accessibility and ability to be performed with a simple couch or wall, the stretch involves kneeling on the floor and placing one foot against the couch or wall behind you, while the opposite leg is placed forward in a lunge position.

Ideal for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, the couch stretch is particularly beneficial for those who sit for long periods or engage in activities like running, cycling, or weightlifting, where tight hip flexors can limit mobility and performance. By stretching these muscles deeply, the couch stretch can relieve tension, improve posture, and promote better hip extension.

Incorporating the couch stretch into your stretching routine will help release muscle tightness and increase flexibility in the hips and thighs. Adjust the intensity by changing the angle of your body or how close your knee is to the wall or couch. Regularly practicing this stretch will enhance hip mobility, reduce discomfort from tight hip flexors, and promote balanced movement patterns for improved athletic performance and daily activities.

Equipment Needed:

  • Variation 1 (shown) – Open floor or pad for your knee
  • Variation 2 – pad for knee and a wall, bench, box, or anything to prop your leg against

Instructions for the couch stretch:

  1. In a half-kneeling position with your down knee on a pad reach back and grab the top of your back foot
  2. Return to the kneeling position, pulling your back leg deeper into knee flexion
  3. If you can bend your knee further do so until you feel a strong quad and/or hip flexor stretch (if you struggle to get into this position see regression below)
  4. Hold for the prescribed amount of time before switching legs

Common Errors

Balance can be an issue so use something to hold yourself up if needed.

Progressions / Regressions:

If this is too challenging:

  • Many people struggle to get into the position due to tight quads. To help this issue use a band or strap over your shoulder to hold your ankle and pull your knee into flexion.

If you want more of a challenge:

  • Using a wall or bench to prop your back leg on can help you get into a deeper stretch

 

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