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Stretch of the Week: Eagle Legs

by Rachel LackowskiLeave a Comment

For the 3rd week of April we will review an internal hip rotation movement that will also help to build stability and balance.

This exercise is called Eagle Legs in the yoga world.

You will need a sturdy chair for this stretch. 

If you have a history of hip or knee injuries (pain, impingement), hip replacements, have difficulty balancing or have a history of falls, it is not recommended to perform this exercise. 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. Stand about a foot behind the chair with your feet hip distance apart. Place the hands on the back of the chair. This is your starting position as shown in the top left photo.

physical therapy stretch: eagle legs

Performing the Eagle Legs exercise:

  1. Keep your hands on the back of the chair for support. Bend the knees slightly, dropping the hips towards the floor. It is very important when bending the hips and knees to continue to be able to see your toes if you look down.
  1. Cross your right leg over your left knee. Ensure you maintain the hip and knee position of your left leg as described above.
  1. Squeeze your inner thighs together. Attempt to maintain the hips in a level position. Squatting down a bit lower will help intensify the stretch through the hip. This is shown in the intermediate photo.

Tip: Press the heel and ball mound (under the toes) of the left foot into the floor to increase your balance. Keep ahold of the chair especially if you are feeling wobbly!

  1. To increase the intensity further you can wrap the right foot behind the left leg. This is the advanced version and is shown in the right photo labeled advanced.
  1. Stay in the position for 30 seconds to a minute. Then uncross and perform on the other side!

Thanks again for tuning into the weekly stretch!

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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