Stretch of the Week: Windshield Wiper Stretch

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For the month of April we will be exploring internal rotation of the hip.

There are many muscles in the hip region that contribute to rotating the hip inward. Each week I will give you a stretch that will address these muscles in some way.

For week one we will learn the Windshield Wiper stretch. You will not need any equipment for this stretch. You should not perform this exercise if you have or are currently experiencing the following: hip injuries, hip replacements, hip impingement, or pain when rotating the hip or knee inward. As with beginning any exercise program, it is recommended that you contact your physician, physical or occupational therapist to determine what is best for you.

Starting Position:

  1. Lie with your back on the floor. If the floor is not accessible for you, then you can do this one on your bed.  Bend your knees keeping feet on the floor (bed), and place your feet approximately two feet apart. Arms are placed out to the side, making a “T” with your body for stabilizing the trunk during the stretch.

Windshield Wiper Stretches

Performing the Windshield Wiper stretch:

  1. For the gentler stretch, let both knees fall slowly to the right. In this position, flex both feet to protect the knees. The left leg will feel an internal hip stretch. The right leg will feel an external hip stretch. Keep the shoulder blades on the floor (bed) as best you can during the stretch.
  1. For a deeper stretch, take the right foot to the outside of the left thigh, as shown in the bottom photo.  This helps assist the leg a little further towards the floor (bed) for a deeper internal hip rotation stretch. Again, keep both feet flexed to protect the knees.
  1. For either variation, stay in the stretch position for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on what feels good to you. Then slowly bring the knees back to center and perform on the other side for the same length of time.

Tip: Instead of holding static, you can also bring the knees back and forth slowly, like a windshield wiper, 5-10 times. Hence the name! Remember to keep the feet flexed the whole time.

Questions? Email me at

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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