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Stretch of the Week: Figure 4 Foam Rolling Stretch

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Thanksgiving week’s stretch of the week is called the Figure 4 Foam Rolling stretch, which is a hip stretch that also massages the piriformis and gluteal muscles along the backside of the hip. Plus, you may also feel a stretch through the chest.

As with the other stretches in November, you will need a foam roller to perform this stretch. Please do not perform if you have difficulty getting up and down from the floor, or if you have any hip injuries.

How to perform:

  1. Place foam roller on the floor. Take a seat on the foam roller in the center as shown in the photos below. Place your hands on the floor behind you. Keep your chest wide. Bend your knees and plant your feet on the floor. Then, take the right ankle to the left knee and actively press the right knee away from you. Keep the foot flexed in this figure “4” shape.
  1. For the stretch in the hip, hold this position for 1-2 minutes. To massage the muscles along the backside of the hip, roll yourself back and forth a few inches for 5-10 minutes (If this area is tender, start with a shorter duration and progressively increase your time as the pressure becomes more tolerable). Make sure that your hands and other foot remain on the floor to keep you stable. Gaze is slightly up, roughly 45 degrees above the horizon.

*Take a look at the “No” photo. It’s unsafe to have both hands on the roller as you may fall off. It’s also very difficult to roll this way. The chest is collapsed and the gaze is down as well.

We hope you enjoy this time with your friends and family! Encourage them to join in on the stretching fun!

stretch-of-the-week-4-november-2016-foam-rolling-stretchInterested in learning more? 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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