hip and back pain

How Crossing Your Legs Can Relieve Hip and Back Pain

By Sherwin Nicholson | May 4, 2020

Do this ‘Seated Leg Cross’ stretch for natural relief

Don’t go to the exercise yet! Start here first!

Are you sitting all day? Yes. Do your hips hurt?

Yes. I bet your back is causing you stress also.  This is because it is very common to have both hip muscle and lower back pain. They are connected!

When your gluteus maximus, medius and minimus are not both stretched and strengthened well, it will hurt.  When you are sitting all day long and you don’t exercise often enough, these muscles become weak and short.  Because they’re are attached to your hip bones, they place that constant tension on them that can make you feel sore.

From lack of exercise, they become tender and sore. Because the glutes are your ‘primary movers’ for your hip and body, without adequate conditioning, they can become strained and painful when you try to use them as your primary movers.

Weak and sore glutes fail to support your back (as they should!) and can hurt you.  When the glutes are tight, they affect your pelvic tilt and can injure your discs.

This is why the Seated Leg Cross is an ideal exercise to help with glute muscle and back pain.

When done correctly, it works to release the tension from tight glute muscles and to stretch the back.  It is Exercise #4 of the Progressive Exercises in the Program.  It helps in many ways to:

  1. Stretch the back muscles (relieve lumbar disc pressure).
  2. Stretch the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus (reduces discomfort from tightness, increased hip flexibility and mobility).
  3. Rotate the femurs outward (improves leg and hip mobility).
  4. Strengthen the abdominals (reduces excessive anterior pelvic tilt).

This exercise can be done while sitting and during your breaks. (It is important to have consent from your family doctor prior to any exercise routine such as the Seated Leg Cross.)

Now let’s begin the Seated Leg Cross

Now be careful.  Don’t try to force your way through this movement, doing a partial movement is better if your body is very stiff and inflexible.  In fact, you should expect that it will take time for you to get to the final pose.

Step 1:  Sit on the floor and maintain an upright posture.  Cross your legs.

a great way to relieve hip pain

Step 2:  Slowly lean forward but begin at the area below the belly button.  Lean forward as though you are trying to press this area into your ankles in front of you.  Only move as far as you can while maintaining this posture.

Step 3:  Hold for 1-2 minutes while using your hands to support your forward lean.

Note:  Initially, there may not be very much forward lean possible.  You may find yourself bending at the lower part of your spine.  Do not do this.  You want to bend only at the hip joint.   Go only as far as your knees will allow to protect your knee joint.

Tip: You can vary this exercise, by placing one folded leg fully overlaid on the other folded leg and by alternating sides between each hold.   Relax into this forward lean.

This type of exercise requires slow and deep breathing.  The goal is to be able to place your elbows on the ground in front of you.  Consciously try to contract your abdominals as you lower yourself down. 

It will require significant time before you can ultimately and comfortably reach this final position and hold for periods at a time.


If you are looking for even more ways to help stretch and strengthen yourself, you are at the right site.  This site is all about naturally retraining the problems that cause pain.  I want you to cruise this site and try all of these exercises. 

When you are ready to do more, get my proven, structured, plan for relief.  It is very detailled and pretty easy to follow.  I will help you along the way will over 170 images of support, even through email as your need it.

“the ideas here apply to my case of hip pain. Simple, easy to understand steps that have made a huge difference in pain management and improving quality of life – thank you” R.S. Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.

“Having this Program, by Sherwin Nicholson, has helped me within just a couple weeks.” A. G. Florida, United States.



Let me try the 10 exercises for my back relief

  1. How to Build Core Stability for Lasting Relief – Gavine & Bonello. 2014. 617.56406Gav.  Allen & Unwin Publish.
  2. Treat Your Own Back – 2011. Robin McKenzie.  Gordon Soules Publishers. 9th Edition. www.gordonsoules.com
  3. Delavier Stretching Anatomy – RA781.63D4513, 2010. Frederic Delavier. Human Kinetics Publishing.