Figure 4 Stretch: It’s Not That Awesome

Figure 4 Stretch. Blog Talk. Episode 5.

Got hip pain? How many times have you been told to do the figure 4 stretch for your glutes or for hip pain? After cycling class? In yoga? Although this stretch is widely used as one of the best hip openers on the planet, it’s not. This stretch has accrued a lot more notoriety than it’s worth, especially as it pertains to Piriformis Syndrome. If you haven’t had a chance to read this popular blog, check it out at: Piriformis Syndrome: It’s Not About the Tennis Ball.

Is there a better way to stretch the glutes and hips? Why yes there is!

Here’s the video…only 3 1/2 minutes!

Blog Talk is A Video Podcast of Physical Therapy, Healthy Movement and Patient Stories.

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  1. Nicholas on October 29, 2018 at 11:49 PM

    Hi Lori, I have a history of low back pain (bulged and herniated disc) from improper weightlifting. Specifically going too heavy on decline dumbbell ab curls and also from bent over barbell rows. I get back pain from standing! I love the stir the pot exercise or stability ball circle exercise, when ones stirs the ball with his elbows in a plank position but it always causes lower back pain. Do you have any idea why? I wouldn’t have an issue doing one legged deadlifts with heavy weight and now with 50 lb it irritates me. I will find a PT to go to but just wanted to hear your opinion. I stumbled upon your deadlift article where you stated the flute is the primary mover and I had never thought of it.

    • Lori Duncan DPT, MTC, CPT on October 31, 2018 at 2:56 PM


      Stir the pot…great name for that. Yes, it sounds like you are not having true stability in your trunk and trying to use your erector spinae, quadratus lumborum and/or thoracolumbar fascia to do the work. This would cause back pain. And, if you dead lifts bug you, STOP! until you get that glute/core activating well.

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