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How to Do the Butterfly Stretch

9 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Stretching

The butterfly stretch exercise stretches your inner thighs, groin, hips, and lower back. If you are prone to lower-back discomfort, take extra care to lean forward from your hips rather than rounding your lower back. This exercise may also cause some knee discomfort. This procedure demonstrates the butterfly stretch that most fitness experts recommend.

  1. Sit up tall with the soles of your feet pressed together and your knees dropped to the sides as far as they will comfortably go.

  2. Pull your abdominals gently inward and lean forward from your hips.

  3. Grasp your feet with your hands and carefully pull yourself a small way farther forward.

    You should feel the stretch spread throughout your inner thighs, the outermost part of your hips, and lower back.

    The butterfly stretch targets your inner thighs, groin, hips, and lower back. [Credit: Photograph b
    Credit: Photograph by Sunstreak Productions, Inc.
    The butterfly stretch targets your inner thighs, groin, hips, and lower back.

Keep in mind these tips as you perform the butterfly stretch:

  • Increase the stretch by carefully pressing your thighs toward the floor as you hold the position.

  • Don’t hunch your shoulders up toward your ears or round your back.

  • To reduce stress on your knees, move your feet away from your body. To increase the stretch, move your feet toward your body.

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The Essentials of Stretching


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