Aug 27, 2021 Cross Body Hip Stretch

Benefits of Cross Body Hip Stretching include:

  • Relieves stiffness and discomfort in the spine, (neck, back and shoulders), and the hips and knees.
  • Helps reduce pelvic floor muscle tightness and discomfort.
  • Eases symptoms of plantar fasciitis, ankle pain and iliotibial band discomfort.
  • Keeps hip muscles strong and flexible to make it easier to perform sporting activities, lunges, squats, bending, lifting, getting in and out of a vehicle and standing up/sitting down, turning and changing directions.

How to perform the stretch:

  1. Choose a position as demonstrated in the video.
  2. Carefully pull your knee toward your opposite shoulder until a comfortable stretch is felt.
  3. Hold this position for approximately 20 seconds (or as directed by your Physical Therapist) as you relax and breathe deeply. Come out of the stretch carefully; repeat 2-3 times on each side.

What you should feel: A comfortable stretch in the back of your hip.

Please note: if one side is easy and the other side is painful, uncomfortable and/or moderately harder, only exercise on the side that feels good. Let your physical therapist know so personalized instructions can be given to you. There are techniques you can be taught to address pain, tightness and weakness without creating further discomfort. Do not do an exercise that feels painful or uncomfortable.

Tips for success:
✓ Breathe deeply and rhythmically so that you do not hold your breath.
✓ Stretch comfortably; do not push the stretch to the point of pain or discomfort.
✓ Stretch on a consistent basis; stretch throughout the day and do it daily, if possible.

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About the Author

Karen BrunoKaren Bruno, PT, DPT, is a Physical Therapist at Connect Physical Therapy, which has locations at 1675 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road, Hamilton (609-584-4770)and Candlewood Commons Office Park, 201 Candlewood Commons, Howell (732-994-7755). For more information about Connect Physical Therapy, a practice of RWJ Rehabilitation Services, visit

Karen received her Bachelor of Science Degree and Certificate in Physical Therapy from Simmons College in 1982. She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Widener University in Chester, PA in 2007. She graduated from the IM school of Health Arts in New York City in 1997. This training included Core Energetic principles, psycho-spiritual integration and hands-on healing.

​She is also a Reiki Master. Karen has received training in the treatment of the pelvic floor dysfunctions through the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute. She combines a solid foundation of orthopedic physical therapy with diverse manual and integrative complementary care techniques to provide an individualized and holistic approach to pelvic floor rehabilitation.

Karen has a broad range of post-graduate training in holistic healing and manual therapy including courses at the Harvard Medical School/Institute for Mind/Body Medicine and the Upledger Institute for ​ CranioSacral Therapy.

She is a certified practitioner of Eden Energy Medicine, an empowering self-care path that assists in balancing and mobilizing the curative power of your body’s energies. ​​​Karen has taught classes at the Mind/Body Institute at St. Peter’s Medical Center in New Brunswick, NJ. Throughout New Jersey, she has led classes in relaxation and body awareness techniques. She uses the Total Motion Release® program, a Do-It-Yourself holistic approach to comfortably balance strength and motion.​