The butterfly stretch is a great exercise to open the hips and stretch the hip adductors. What are “adductors”? The adductors are used to pull the leg inward. For example: kicking a soccer ball, doing 30 hack sacs during Kaia or even crossing your legs!
Another reason to do the butterfly stretch is to relieve stress. Let’s face it, we all experience stress and we tend to carry in our hips. This stretch will help relieve stress and provide flexibility.
So, let’s get started. I am going to focus on two versions of the Butterfly stretch.
There are two common types of Butterfly stretches (sitting and lying)
Seated Butterfly Stretch:
This is the most common butterfly stretch.
- Sit tall and bring the soles of your feet pressed together.
- Let your knees fall out to the sides
o At this point you should feel a stretch in the groin region
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds
- Take a deep breath in and out.
- Start to gently pull your abdominals inward and gently lean forward over the soles of your feet.
- You should feel the stretch throughout your inner thighs, your hips, and your lower back.
- Once you feel the stretch, pause, and take 5 breaths in and out.
Lying Butterfly Stretch:
This version is a favorite of mine when I have 2 min for a butterfly stretch.
- Lie on your back
- Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet together
- Let your knees drop slowly away from each other until you feel a stretch in groin area
- Close your eyes and breath normally. This will allow you to quiet your mind and will give the muscles to relax and stretch.
Although stretching is good for our bodies, there are common mistakes to avoid.
When stretching avoid bouncing in your stretch. Bouncing defeats, the purpose of the stretch, which is to lengthen and relax the muscles to improve the flexibility of the adductors.
Pressing down forcefully:
Do not press down with force. It will cause unwanted pressure on tendons, ligaments, and insertion points.
Holding your breath:
Do not hold your breath while stretching. The breath can help you stretch deeper. Inhale as you rest and exhale as you initially do the work.