Most people just look at pre-exercise stretches as a part of their warm-up routine to activate muscles and get the blood flowing. But the scorpion stretch can provide a lot more training and overall well-being benefits.
To help our clients and readers gain a better understanding of how to do the scorpion stretch for maximum benefits, we’ve put together this guide on this vital lower body stretch.
I also asked a physiotherapist registered with the American College of Sports Medicine to provide some details of all the benefits this stretch provides.
- The scorpion stretch can relieve tightness in the hips and lower spine that would otherwise become uncomfortable and even painful.
- While it might look like this ground stretch requires a lot of flexibility to get started, it’s relatively easy to do when you follow some key instructions.
- Athletes who regularly do the scorpion stretch will find it helps them with an improved range of motion that can have a surprising impact on fitness goals.
How To Do The Scorpion Stretch
These steps will help you do the dynamic scorpion stretch without needing someone to supervise or help you with the movement.
- Step 1: Get into the starting position and lay flat on your stomach on a yoga mat with both legs straight and toes pointed to the ground.
- Step 2: Stretch your arms out to each side perpendicular to your body with palms flat on the ground.
- Step 3: Lift your left leg off the ground and slightly bend the left knee.
- Step 4: Twist your hips to bring your left leg over the right leg until you touch the ground with the left foot.
- Step 5: Hold the left foot in place for a few seconds and then slowly bring the left foot back to the starting point.
- Step 6: Now, it’s time to keep your left leg straight and repeat the process on the other side.
You should feel this stretch predominantly from your mid back to your upper thighs.
But let’s take a closer look at what this does specifically.
What Does This Stretch Do?
The scorpion stretch can help you release tension and loosen muscles all the way from your knees up to your shoulders.
The main benefit it can provide is for your hip flexors, which can cause tight hips .
The main muscles worked are:
- Hip abductors
- Hip flexors
- Gluteus maximus
- Erector spinae
What I challenge my clients to do during scorpion stretches is to focus their minds on each muscle individually.
You’ll quickly notice all the different areas from your left foot all the way to your right shoulder.
Benefits of Scorpion Stretch
These are the main benefits you’ll gain from doing a daily scorpion stretch.
1. Relieve Lower Back Pain
Unless you have serious sciatica issues, doing regular scorpion stretches can reduce back muscle stiffness while at the same time improving mobility .
If you are dealing with nerve issues in your spine, then these kinds of stretches aren’t going to solve that.
But if it’s just sore and tight muscle, then it’s going to work wonders.
“While stretching isn’t a remedy for all lower back pain, in many instances, it can provide relief.”
- Brooke Mathe, MS, CSCS
2. Improve Leg Muscle Activation
You’ll also experience that twisting your back and stretching the hip flexor muscles will greatly help with muscle activation during weight training .
It’s a great stretch to do in order to support knee extension, which you might need for squats, leg extensions, and hamstring curls.
Some athletes might even find it more difficult to fully activate and gain control over the range of motion of just one leg, and the scorpion stretch could solve that.
Also Read: Best Stretches for Tight Sore Legs
3. Increase Mobility Of Hip Flexors
The hip flexors are the muscles at the front of your hips that help to tilt your pelvis and pull your legs up .
You can tell if there’s tightness here by standing tall and trying to bring your left leg and left foot up in front of you.
The more difficult it is to bring your knee close to your chest, the more tension you may have here.
4. Allows Flexibility In Workouts
By being able to comfortably increase your spinal rotation, you’ll find it a lot easier to do many types of yoga and pilates exercises.
And by having more flexibility in the hips, you find it easier to do weight training like squats, where the added range of motion can help to increase the amount of muscle growth .
Read Also: FST 7 Workout
Is The Scorpion Stretch Safe?
Yes, the scorpion stretch is safe as long as you don’t have any problems with damaged discs or sciatic nerve compression. You can also gradually build up the stretch to avoid doing any joint or muscle damage.
How Long Does It Take To Do The Scorpion Pose?
It can take just three or four minutes to do the scorpion pose. Because your body is flat on the ground, there’s no major muscle tension, and you can do as many repetitions as you feel comfortable.
Be Better Prepared With A Simple Floor Stretch
By adding some targeted stretching before your workout and even on your rest days, you’ll find that your range of motion will increase substantially. You also should feel as much discomfort when you try to go as low as possible during squats and lunges.
The other thing I would recommend is looking into some pre-workout supplements to improve your workout performance.
Here are some that we have extensively tested and researched:
Combining these with a good stretching routine could transform your workouts.
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