The wall supine straddle is a passive stretch that targets the inner thighs and adductors.
It is popular in yoga, splits training and hip injury rehabilitation.
We also use it as a way to aid adductor flexibility for better strength training performance too.
Tightness in these muscles can often increase the risk of groin injuries, as well as limiting lower body movement patterns.
The supine straddle stretch is also beginner-friendly and doesn’t require any equipment.
In this exercise guide, we outline everything you need to know about the supine wall straddle, including how to do it properly, muscles worked, and benefits.
What is a Wall Supine Straddle?
A wall supine straddle involves lying on your back with your legs stretched up against a wall.
This allows you to passively stretch your hip adductors (your inner thigh).
It can be used as an effective stretch to help improve flexibility around the hips, as well as a way to stretch the groin in a way that doesn’t put additional load on the knees.
The use of a wall helps to support the legs during the stretch.
By placing some markers on the wall, it is also a great tool to measure how your hip flexibility and mobility are improving over time. This makes the supine straddle one of the best ways to track your adductor flexibility progress, which is very useful for fitness programs such as splits training.
How to do a Wall Supine Straddle
To do a wall supine straddle:
- In a supine position (lying face up), position your glutes as close to a wall as possible.
- Extend your legs up the wall. If possible, straighten your legs. If this is uncomfortable, keep the knees slightly bent.
- Slowly let your legs fall to either side until you feel a gentle stretch in your inner thighs.
- You may want to use your hands to pull your legs slightly further to increase the stretch in your adductors.
- Hold this stretch for as long as necessary. To start with, try 30 seconds, repeated 3 times.
Coach’s Tip – Make sure your glutes are all the way up to the wall. If you leave a gap, it’s not going to create the same sort of stretch in the adductors.
Increasing the Stretch
The supine straddle primarily works the hip adductors (adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus, gracilis, and pectineus).
It also tests your hamstring flexibility as well as stretching out your lower back too.
Supine Straddle Benefits
Stretch Inner Thigh
The primary benefit of the supine wall straddle is that is allows you to stretch your inner thigh (adductor muscles).
Stretching these muscles is important for improving flexibility around the hips, as well as helping to reduce the risk of groin injuries.
You can also increase the stretch in a more controlled way by gently pushing down on your legs with your hands too.
It’s a great stretch to do alongside adductor strengthening exercises like the Copenhagen plank.
Reduce Load on Knees
The supine straddle isn’t the only way to target the inner thigh… however, lots of other stretches involve your knees being bent or supporting your body weight (which often isn’t preferrable for anyone looking for low-impact exercises and stretches).
Due to the lying position of a supine straddle, the knees don’t take any of your bodyweight, so this is better for anyone with knee problems.
It’s also a passive stretch that anyone can attempt, regardless of their existing fitness/flexibility levels.
Using some markers (or a bit of chalk), you can measure your progression quite easily with supine wall straddles.
This helps you understand how your efforts are paying off and if you need to adapt your stretching routine.
To see noticeable improvements, you’ll also need to work on your overall hip mobility, as well as adductor flexibility. This ensures your joints are moving through their full range of motion.
Regression for Splits
If you want to master the middle splits, or any yoga pose that involves this type of leg positioning, the wall supine straddle is a great place to start.
Unless you’re naturally very flexible, you’ll probably need to practice regression (easier) exercises like the wall straddle before you’re able to do the splits.
Although the primary muscle group being targeted is the inner thigh, the hamstrings will also get a nice stretch, if you’re able to straighten your legs during the movement.
7 Hip Adductor Stretches
Things to Consider
As with any sort of stretching, it’s important not to push beyond your limits. Doing so could lead to injury… such as a groin or hamstring strain.
Stretching straps can be useful in helping you increase the stretch in a safer way.
Don’t Forget the Abductors Too
The wall supine straddle is an effective way to stretch the inner thigh and adductor muscles, without needing to put any weight on your knees. The stretch is therefore a great alternative for any sort of standing adductor stretch or ones that require the knee to support any part of your body.
We also like to use the supine straddle as a way to measure how adductor flexibility is progressing over time, by using markers on the wall. This ability to visually see any improvements can be great for added motivation.
Start with 3 sets of 30-60 second holds and see how you get on.
Featured image and video demonstration credit – Jenny LaBaw