Lateral Hip Stretch

Lateral Hip Stretch

What muscles does the lateral hip stretch target?

Lateral Hip

How to perform stretch:

Position to start as per the image

Left elbow on right knee

Lean forward and apply outward pressure to knee


The stretched muscles include the Gluteal muscles and the deep hip rotators.

Gluteal muscles have diverse actions. Gluteus Maximus is the major extensor muscle of the hip. On the other hand, Gluteus Medius and Minimus abduct the hip and along with the anterior fibers of Medius are responsible for flexion and internal rotation of the hip. The action of posterior Medius fibers, on the contrary, is extension and external rotation of the hip.

Hip rotators are small muscles, responsible for external rotation of the hip. A group of hip rotators not only rotates the hip externally but abducts it as well; this includes Piriformis, Obturator Intemus and Gemelli. Obturator Extemus acts to cause external rotation as well as adduction of the hip while Quadratus Femoris only rotates the hip externally.


This exercise helps to elongate the Gluteal muscles as well as the deep lying hip rotators. The hip joint capsule is also stretched from the sides and the back. Enhances body flexibility and allows ease of movement while kicking, climbing, bending, turning, waggling etc.

Regular Range of Movement:

The knee is brought near to the opposite underarm.

This movement not only bends the hip but also moves it towards the midline and rotates it internally. The total degree of hip adduction (movement towards midline) is about 10-30 while it can bend approximately to 120-135 degrees, with the knee in a flexed position. The total extent of internal rotation is normally 30-45 degrees.