This pose and its variations stretch your thighs in a
way that is particularly safe for your lower back. This
can be very relaxing and great for winding down after
a long day. If you are unable to grasp your toes, try
holding onto a strap around the bottom of your foot.
THE BIG PICTURE
The back of your lifted thigh and leg intensely stretch. Your
arms gently pull your leg in, but you should try to relax any
muscles that are not necessary for this action (like your jaw,
neck, and shoulders).
and lower leg
In this version of the pose,
your lowered thigh and leg are
slightly engaged to stabilize.
Your hip exors are in a
slightly lengthened position,
your quadriceps extend your
knees, and your hamstrings
are slightly engaging. Your
ankle dorsiexors engage
while your plantar exors
are in a neutral or
Lifted thigh and lower leg
Your hip exors engage while your quadriceps
extend your knee. Your hip extensors—
particularly your hamstrings and gluteus
maximus—stretch. As you grasp at your toes
you’ll likely feel your ankle plantar exors—
especially your calf muscles—stretching.
Your spine is neutral, or your lower back
may be slightly ﬂexed depending on how
far into the pose you go. Pull your toe in
until you feel a deep but comfortable
stretch in your hamstrings.
Grab big toe
or a strap
Biceps femoris (short head)
Biceps femoris (long head)
Extensor digitorum longus
US_166-167_Supine_leg_stretch_01.indd 166 20/09/2018 21:16