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


Related Exercises

90/90 Hip Stretch

90/90 Hip Stretch

90/90 Hip Stretch90/90 hip Stretch The 90/90 hip stretch is a powerful exercise designed to improve hip mobility, flexibility, and overall lower body function. This stretch targets the hip internal and external rotators, and the glutes, making it ideal for athletes...

Prone Angel

Prone Angel

Prone AngelProne Angel The prone angel is a powerful exercise designed to improve upper back strength, shoulder stability, and overall posture. Performed while lying face down, this movement mimics the motion of making snow angels. It specifically targets the scapular...

Band Pass Through

Band Pass Through

Band Pass ThroughBand pass through The band pass through, also known as the band shoulder pass through, is an effective exercise designed to improve shoulder mobility, flexibility, and stability. This exercise involves using a resistance band to perform a controlled,...

Related Posts

Building Accessory Programs – Part 6

Building an accessory program is a great idea if your training isn't well balanced or if you have specific goals that aren't being met. This article is the final part of a series all about how to build and implement accessory programs for functional training like...

Unilateral exercises: accessory programming part 5

Functional training programs are intended to make your body move well as a whole, not just as individual parts. Unfortunately many programs still lack movements that are helpful in sport and in life.  Adding unilateral exercises into your training with accessory...

Lateral movements: accessory programming part 4

Functional training programs are intended to make your body move well as a whole, not just as individual parts. Unfortunately many programs still lack movements that are helpful in sport and in life.  Adding lateral movements into your training with accessory programs...

Horizontal Pulling Movements – accessory programming part 3

Functional fitness programming often has a great deal of pulling movements.  Unfortunately programs like Crossfit neglect horizontal pulling in favor of vertical pulling.  For this reason, we recommend adding horizontal pulls to your accessory programming. To learn...

Rotation exercises – crossfit accessory programming part 2

Rotation exercises are key to generating power in movements like throwing or swinging and they also play an important role in muscle balance and healthy joint mechanics.  Unfortunately, they are often missing from many functional fitness programs like Crossfit.  If...

Anti-Rotation Exercises: Accessory Programming Part 1

Crossfit is a constantly varied fitness program that focuses on intense functional movements but it lacks some that may help you stay healthy. This post will help you learn how to program anti-rotation exercises into your accessory programs for Crossfit. Doing this...

The best mobility programs use these elements

Just like a diet needs a caloric deficit to make you lose weight, a mobility program needs certain things in order to help you move better.  In this article we will explore the top 5 things that the most effective mobility programs should have to be as effective as...

Banded Ankle Mobilization: Improve your ankle mobility

Banded ankle mobility mobilizations are simple and effective drills you can use to improve ankle range of motion.  Most of us could use more ankle mobility, especially those of us who sit most of the day and then try to train functional exercises like the squat....

Thoracic Extension Mobility: The Ultimate How To Post

Thoracic spine extension is a crucial spinal movement that is required for shoulder, neck, and low back health as well as athletic performance. In this article, I will discuss what thoracic mobility is, how to assess thoracic mobility, and what thoracic mobility...

Push Pull Ratio: Prevent Shoulder Injuries

What is a push-pull ratio? The push-pull ratio can help prevent shoulder injuries by helping you maintain a balance in the muscles around the shoulder girdle. It is exactly as it sounds- a ratio between how many pushes you are doing compared to how many pulls you are...

Follow Us On Social