The Elevated Pigeon Stretch: How it's done (video + text explanation)

What is an elevated pigeon stretch?

Also known as the elevated glute stretch, the elevated pigeon stretch is just like the normal pigeon stretch that you would do on the floor (pictured below), only you elevate your leg up onto a bench, a desk, your ottoman, or whatever else you may have on hand. The idea is to get your leg up & flat on that surface with your knee bent at a bit less than 90 degree. Pull your heel slightly towards your groin and thrust your chest forward to engage the muscles fully in the stretch.

What is the elevated pigeon stretch good for?

This type of stretch is great for:

  • people who sit a lot, like those who work a 9-5 desk job

  • people who walk with their legs facing outward, which puts more strain on the lower back

  • anyone who has tight hips and chronic lower back pain

It's all about the hip rotation

Taller, bigger people who want to get the most from this stretch will have a much easier time engaging those hips by elevating on a tall tabletop, box, bench, bed, what have you. Find a way to make it work! You ideally want to spend about 2-5 minutes in this elevated pigeon stretch position. The idea is to move your torso around, engage those hip and glute muscles, but the big focus is to get your leg at about a 90 degree angle pointing away from your body. If you feel tension on your knee, bring your heel a bit closer to your hip for a bit of a modified position.

Adding movement to this stretch definitely helps

While in the elevated pigeon stretch position, try a couple of these movements, also showin in BJ Gaddour's video below.

  • 30-60 seconds: taking your shoulders & moving side-to-side, left-to-right

  • 30-60 seconds: twist your torso and face left, twist your torso and face right, digging your elbows into your heels, prying open your chest

  • 30-60 seconds: get tall and stretch upwards

  • 30-60 seconds: shake and circle your hips, slightly twist back leg to open up hip flexor

Switch sides and do these 4 movements about another 2-5 minutes. This is all laid out beautifully in the video below, so take a look:

Video example of the Elevated Pigeon Stretch:

With nearly 9 millions views, the Elevated Pedestal Pigeon Stretch video by BJ Gaddour (former Men's Health Fitness Director & Cover Model), is one of the most watched instructional videos in their inventory! BJ walks us through the how and why of the Elevated Pigeon Stretch in the 2 minute video above. We hope you Enjoy!

Ditch Your Shoes & Get Those Hips Moving!

Thank you for reading!

Much Love,

The Pedestal Guys

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