I think it is safe to say that most people are familiar with ‘Pigeon’ stretch, which is the prone (on-your-stomach) version of this supine Figure-4 hip stretch. Floor Pigeon is a great stretch and it provides the same external hip rotation as this supine version. It also gives the individual more leverage to get a great stretch. However, there can be some drawbacks to the tradition floor pigeon stretch. First, if you have very tight hips, it can be difficult to get into the right position and get the stretch in the correct spot. Second, individuals with knee pain or a knee injury tend to have discomfort in the floor pigeon position. Third, floor pigeon may put an inflexible individual into spinal flexion more than hip external rotation. If you have back pain/discomfort spinal flexion may not be your friend.
In this supine (on-your-back version) use a jump stretch band to assist you in doing this stretch. It will open your hips so: you can make a better turn; maintain your posture; protect your lower back; and create more force from the ground.
External hip rotation is the rotation your lead hip goes through in your backswing and the hip rotation you trail hip goes through in your downswing. When you are limited in this dimension of hip mobility, your body will make compensations to get back to the ball. Often times it will be your lower back that picks up the slack.
Using the band and being on your back does a couple of awesome things. The band makes your arms longer, so you can keep your shoulders, head, and lower back in contact with the ground. This keeps your spine in a more neutral position and makes it easier to focus on stretching the hip versus putting stress on your knee, or excessive spinal flexion if you have lower back pathology. The elasticity of the band makes it easy to hold onto the band with one hand so you can use your other arm to push your knee away to increase your stretch.
This video is part of the Forged Flexibility Program. For more videos like this follow the link below and learn how to use foam rolling and other self-manual therapy tools to increase your mobility and flexibility for golf.