Mastering the Pigeon Pose

Excellent Inside and Outside Hip Stretch for BJJ

Get a better hip range of motion with the Pigeon Pose


Hip openers may be challenging. But they can also be incredibly satisfying, both physically and emotionally. By doing the pigeon pose you are not only going to stretch the outside of your hips, but also the front of the hips. Therefore, pigeon pose is a great hip-stretching exercise for before and after jiu-jitsu.

Reason #1, why you should spend more time stretching out your hips is, that nowadays our jobs require us to sit all day, which keeps our hips from the rotation, flexion, and extension they need to remain agile.

Besides that, many of your everyday activities, such as walking, running etc., do not demand hip flexibility. Which is why you should pay special attention to this complex cluster of powerful muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

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And if those two reasons are still not good enough for you, then how about this one: without proper mobility, performing some of the fundamental BJJ techniques and warm up movements will be way more challenging if your hips are tight.

You might have already been doing the triangle stretch to the wall, which is a prequel to this pose as it stretches the same muscle. It’s also a good pose to start with, before moving on to pigeon pose.

We’re going to start off the position in a plank, following by bending one knee and placing it forward on the ground. Instead of sitting down straight away, use your plank to rock backwards and forwards a few times. So you’re taking the weight off of the knee and kind of leaning back onto your back foot.

The correct way of doing this pose is to lean back as far as you can go, then find a sweet spot and stay there. If you aren’t flexible enough, sit down on one of your buttocks and fold your upper body over your thigh, lowering both sides of your pelvis toward the floor. In case of extreme inflexibility, I would also recommend you take a look into our Yoga for Rocks Hips program.

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Relax your head. Lay your forehead on the wrists if that helps. At the same time, try to keep walking your back leg in, towards your midline. Make sure that your bend foot stays underneath your hip or even further.

It almost feels like doing a split, but instead of working your hamstrings, you’re working on stretching out the hips.

Click on the button below for more hip-stretching exercises:

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You can ‘’easily’’ stay in this pose between 2 and 8 minutes. I put easily in the brackets, because even though pigeon pose looks/sounds kind of easy, those of you who’ve tried it, know how challenging it can be. Conversely, it’s very good at isolating certain muscles in the hips, ultimately softening stiffness and making you more flexible. Just breathe deeply into the sensations rumbling in your hips. What’s nice about pigeon pose is, that gravity is actually pushing you into the stretch. So the more you can relax, the more effective the stretch.

Once you’re done with one side, scootch over and do the pose on the other side.

Click on the button below for more hip-stretching exercises:

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There is really no way we can avoid sitting and other things that cause us to stiffen up. But what we can do, is to minimize the damage when that happens. (Un)lucky for those of us who practice BJJ the limited range of motion in the hips shows up right away. Thus, taking the time to focus on your mobility and the strength of your hips will help you to stay on the mats for many years to come.

Pigeon pose is not the only stretch that will help you maintain and improve your performance on the mats. Click here if you want to read more about 5 best stretches to do after BJJ.

The best way to get the benefits of these poses is to try them yourself!

Hip Week Program

This program features 5 videos (+a bonus track) with a combination of flow and stretching for your hips.

Read More

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