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  • Writer's pictureKeep It Moving PT & Wellness

Week 41: Standing Hip Internal Rotation Stretch

Exercise: Standing Hip Internal Rotation Stretch 

Purpose: To improve hip internal rotation in a weightbearing position while the hip is in neutral extension

What It Targets: Stretching of the hip external rotator muscles: Piriformis, Obturator Internal and External, Inferior and Superior Gemellus, Quadratus Femoris, Psoas Major & Minor, Sartorius


  1. Stand with the lower leg and knee of the leg you’re stretching resting on a surface so your hip is able to remain in neutral extension.

  2. Rotate the leg that you’re standing on as far internally as possible so your foot, knee and inner thigh are pointing inward.

  3. Tuck your pelvis and squeeze your glutes, maintaining neutral hip extension and pelvic tilt.

  4. Turn your pelvis as far as you can toward the leg that you’re stretching. Be sure not to arch your back or let your hip flex forward.

  5. Stop once you feel a stretch that is strong but comfortable in the outer hip and groin.

  6. Hold for  as long as prescribed.

  7. Repeat as many times as prescribed. 

Main Cues:

  • Keep your thigh in line with your trunk so your hip is in neutral extension

  • The stretch should be comfortable and feel muscular, not a pinchyness in the hip joint

  • Rotate the standing hip and pelvis as far as you can to elicit the stretch

Common Compensations/Adverse Effects: 

  • Pain/pinching in the hip joint

Correction: Be sure to keep your core and glute activated to stabilize the hip and pelvis; Decrease the degree of rotation so the stretch is more comfortable; Rest your lower leg on a lower surface to avoid hip flexion

  • Not feeling the stretch at all

Correction: Before rotating your pelvis, make sure the leg you’re standing on is completely rotated inward so your foot/toes are at a 45+ degree angle towards the stretching leg; Keep your core and glute activated to stabilize the hip; If all of these boxes are checked and you still don’t feel it (or pain), you probably don’t need the stretch 

Why We Love It:

  • It targets a direction of hip mobility (internal rotation) that is often limited on many people 

  • It is a low threshold active stretch to better improve the mobility without forcing it or causing pain

  • It improves hip internal rotation with the hip in neutral extension which is crucial for many weightbearing activities

*Disclaimer: Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and participation in novel activities may increase the risk of adverse effects such as pain, soreness, or injury. Please consult with your Physician or a local Physical Therapist prior to attempting any exercise you feel uncomfortable performing. If adverse reactions occur, discontinue performance of the exercise and consult your physician or trusted clinician for evaluation.


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