9. How to Execute a Sitting Hip Stretch

Green Tea Precision

  • Quality Over Quantity
  • Sitting Hip Stretch
  •  Make a detailed plan
  • Recipe with Precision Green Tea coming soon


Author: Andrea Cooper, Founder and Owner of PILATEA®


Quality Over Quantity


I started Pilates at age thirteen as a way to cross train for ballet. In the beginning, my muddled, high repetition approach to exercise usually gifted me with a stiff neck and a bruised ego. My teachers guided me toward the magic of the principle, Precision, where every exercise has proper form and purpose. Over time I was able to perform the movements with exactitude, attaining maximum benefit without pain. Now, as the teacher, I get to pay it forward and help my clients dissect and refine exercises until they achieve quality movements. Essentially, with each exercise, we find the dots then connect the dots. As Pilates says it, we must “honor every movement.”



The Sitting Hip Stretch


Let’s get persnickety and refine a sitting figure 4 stretch. Instead of folding forward over our leg, we are going to stay upright and stretch the hip only, leaving the lower back out of the equation.


Sit up straight with your feet comfortably apart.

Cross your right ankle over your left knee.

Pretend you have a rod in your spine.

If you already do, high five, 10 points. 

Stay straight from your sits bones to the top of your head.

Pitch forward until you feel a stretch in your right hip.

Hold the stretch and refine your form. 

Notice if you rounded forward and straighten back out.

Notice if you left your hips behind and just shifted your ribs forward.

If so, zip them back into place.


Now switch legs. 

Cross your left ankle over your right knee.

Pitch forward until you feel and stretch in your left hip.

Notice if your eye gaze went toward your feet.

If so, you are most likely folding forward.

Look further along the floor to keep your spine straight.

Check in with your neck, shoulders and ribs. 

Keep them neutral. 

Well done!


Maintaining a neutral spine in a sitting figure 4 stretch strengthens your lower back. A neutral spine also keeps your lower back safe if you have structural issues like a bulging disc, stenosis or severe degeneration. Rounding forward is perfectly fine if you have a healthy lower back. It simply changes the objective of the stretch. When in doubt of your lower back health, keep your belly pulled in so your spine is supported. 


Make a Detailed Plan


Step 5. Precision: Aim at your truth. Create big change by shifting small habits.

So far we have practiced self-advocacy, tracked our current habits, connected to our goals, compared where we are to where we want to be, and taken charge of our journey. 

We are going to practice quality over quantity. To do this we need to take our bigger goal and break it down so that we can aim at smaller, more high-quality habits.

For example, say you want to be more fit. List all the things you can think of that could help you reach this goal. A list of high-quality habits could be to join a gym, drink more water, start walking, sign up for a Pilates class, eat less cookies, eat more vegetables, etc. This is your moment to purge onto paper all of the little changes that are aligned with the person you are becoming. 

Now pick one on the list... Just one. 

To aim is to have intent, direction, and a specific objective. To aim is to zero in on an aspect of your goal, break it down, and master that aspect. This will keep you energized and emotionally grounded everyday so you avoid burnout or the chaos of the gap between where you are and where you are going.

Which one did you pick?


“Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.” -Joseph Pilates- ________________________________________________________________________

Next Up

Blog 10. Precision Green Tea Toddy.

Have a good day. You are fabulous.


* The information included in this website is not to be construed as or substituted for medical or nutritional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  


Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published