Knee Hug in Place Glutes Stretch Guide and Video

Knee Hug in Place Glutes Stretch Guide and Video 

Knee Hug in Place is a dynamic stretch for your glutes, hamstring and hips. 

It is a therapeutic stretch for lower-back pain and tension releasing flexibility stretch for your hips and glutes. 

In Yoga, it’s known as a variation of intermediate balance pose called Hand to Big Toe (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana) that prepares you for other one-legged poses. [1]

Standing Knee Hug is particularly useful before a workout that involves lunges, squats, deadlifts and walking.

It’s also suited as a stretch before your run. 

How to Perform Knee Hug in Place

  1. Stand with your feet-shoulder width apart, arms at your sides.
  2. Shift your weight to your right foot and lift your left knee up toward your chest. Hug your knee into your chest with your left hand while contracting your right glute. 
  3. Lower your knee to return to the starting position. Switch sides and repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. MIT recommends 8-12 repetitions per side for dynamic stretches. 


  1. Stand against a wall: Performing this dynamic stretch against a wall is particularly helpful if you find it difficult to balance on one leg. However, don’t lean on it. Use it just for support. 
  2. Use a strap around the knee: If you cannot reach your knee with your hands, wrap around the lifted knee with a yoga strap and hold both ends of the strap with the same-side hand.

What is Dynamic Stretching? 

Dynamic stretches are “a series of gentle arm and leg swings performed in a smooth controlled manner.”, defines University of Virginia

According to Creighton University, they are also considered functional flexibility exercises that use the body’s muscles to control the speed, direction and intensity to improve soft tissue extensibility.  

While many women often get confused dynamic stretches with static stretches, their difference is clear.

Unlike static stretches, in which you hold a position for 20-30 seconds, dynamic stretches are performed rather fluidly to increase blood flow, warm-up muscles, and prepare the body for movements. 

MIT recommended performing each dynamic stretch for 8-12 repetitions per side. 

With dynamic stretches, it is always important to work within your range of motion

What that means is, don’t force your arms and legs to go beyond where they can naturally go, as this forcefulness can lead to muscle fatigueness. 

Where you feel the limit is where you should stop. 

MIT writes, “Overworked muscles won’t attain a full range of motion and the muscle’s kinesthetic memory will remember the repeated shorted range of motion, which you will then have to overcome before you can make further progress.”

In other words, working beyond the range of motion can fatigue your muscles and lead to poor work performance.

Make sure your dynamic stretching routine benefits your performance by stay within your range of motion.

Exercise Table

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When to Perform Dynamic Stretches

These stretches are most often (and should be) performed before sports activity or any other physical activity such as fitness training. 

In particular, stretches that are similar in movements to the exercises you plan to perform bring the maximum benefits to your workout, as they serve the best as movement prep. 

According to a study done by Patrick Troumbley, Master of Science student at Utah State University, dynamic stretching is particularly effective for agility work. He writes, “it resulted in the fastest agility test time.”

Foam rolling exercises,  static stretches, dynamic stretches and warm-ups are all interrelated and should be performed in the right order. 

The correct sequence not only ensures you wake up, warm up and prepare your muscles gradually, but also gets your body ready in time for your workout, which is more vigorous and intense. 

Your pre-workout session should consist of the followings and done in the sequence below. 

  1. Self-myofascial release (foam rolling)
  2. Static stretches
  3. Dynamic stretches 
  4. Warm-ups

Other Dynamic Stretches:

  • Leg Cradle
  • Inverted Hamstring
  • Lunge with Rotation
  • Hand Walk
  • Lunge with Side Bend
  • Elbow to Knee Lunge

Grab this 5 Minute Dynamic Stretching Guide for your lower body workout.

Additional Source: 

“How to Do Standing Knee Hug in Yoga.” N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Aug. 2015.

Misato Alexandre


After making healthy living a priority, Misato lost over 20 lbs in less than 90 days. Instead of weight loss being a dreading experience, living the lifestyle of health and fitness granted her more happiness and joy than ever before. She co-founded Fitwirr to make health and fitness simple for everyone and share her tips through writing evidence-based articles on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

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