What's restricting me in my wide leg forward bend?

What’s Restricting Me In Seated Wide-Legged Forward Bend?

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Transcript Below Of: What's Restricting Me In Seated Wide-Legged Forward Bend?

Hey everybody! Welcome to this month’s question of the month. This one comes from Anthony. His question is about seated wide-legged forward bend.

The Question:

“Hi David,
When asked to [do] seated wide-legged forward bend it is somewhat restricting for me to hinge forward. I don’t seem to have the leverage to bring my elbows to the ground and it’s as if something is stopping [me] from comfortably leaning forward. I am beginner to intermediate and have a regular practice. Could you shine some light on what could be happening on the inside and some tips to overcome it. Thanks for all your great work you put out and giving this opportunity for Q&A .
I just saw the lotus workshop. It looks very interesting. Perhaps I will consider it in the near future.”

The Answer:

I left that [reference to the lotus workshop] in because it might be connected to your whole question about seated wide-legged forward bend there. It’s a good question.

So, I’ve said this before and it’s probably in a couple of articles. When we’re doing forward folds, if your legs are together and you’re restricted in going forward, it’s your hamstrings. If you go into a seated wide-legged forward bend, to go forward, the typical restriction, if you have trouble going forward with your legs wide, typically it’s your adductors. Your hamstrings are kind of pulled out from the direction of having a direct restriction onto your pelvis.

So, it’s typically adductors, but it could also be the gluteals and the deep rotators. And, I say that particularly in your case because you mention the lotus workshop, which gives me the impression that you might be having trouble with lotus, which almost always comes back to the hips and the deep rotators and the gluteals. So, that’s probably your specific answer. I don’t have all the details to know that.

What I would suggest is, you know, you’re looking at it [seated wide-legged forward bend] from the point of view of also saying, “you don’t have the leverage to bring your elbows to the ground”. The other way of saying that is, it’s not that you don’t have the leverage, it’s that you don’t have the leverage relative to tension. You don’t have the strength to overcome the restriction at the hip joints themselves. So, there are two things you could do, basically, if we look at it as that whole picture or two sides of the same coin. One is, you can increase your strength and gain leverage. Or, you can release tissues. Or, you can do both. You can release the tissues, which in your case like I said, is probably the glutes, deep rotators. The lotus workshop, double-pigeon, that kind of stuff should help that. And, you could also increase strength while you’re doing those things to help your body then sustain that openness and flexibility.

Alright? I hope that gives you some food for thought.

And, if anybody else has a question, just go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion and submit a question and I’ll do my best to answer it on video. See ya next month.

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This website is simply about delivering yoga anatomy to the yoga community in a simple and understandable way. It has always been about you, the reader, understanding the complexity and diversity of our own humanness as well as our anatomy.

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