Woman-on-yoga-mat-doing-childs-pose

How to Do Child’s Pose: A Hinge Health Guide

Learn how to do child’s pose to help with mobility and flexibility, plus modifications to make it easier or harder.

Published Date: Jun 16, 2023
Woman-on-yoga-mat-doing-childs-pose

In our fast-paced modern world, finding moments of tranquility and peace is increasingly crucial for our overall well-being. Amidst the hustle and bustle, the humble child's pose can offer a moment of calm and restoration. But it does more. Child’s pose can also improve flexibility and mobility in several parts of your body — and, in the process, decrease pain and improve your ability to do day-to-day activities. 

Here, learn more about child’s pose and its benefits, plus how to modify child’s pose to meet your needs. 

Our Hinge Health Experts

Dylan Peterson, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist and Clinical Reviewer
Dr. Peterson is a Hinge Health physical therapist who focuses on developing clinical exercise therapy programs and member education.

What Is Child’s Pose Stretch? 

Child’s pose is a forward bending stretch that can relieve stiffness and tension and promote better flexibility in several parts of your body. It involves kneeling on the floor, resting on your heels, then lowering your body forward so your forehead and torso rest on or near the ground. 

What Muscles Does Child’s Pose Work? 

Child’s pose is not a strengthening exercise. Instead, this forward-bending move stretches several parts of your body, which can help to improve your mobility. Along with gently lengthening your spine and stretching the muscles around it, child’s pose stretches the muscles in and around your shoulders, such as your trapezius muscles, which help support and move your shoulders and neck. It’s a great way to stretch your hip flexors, which can get tight if you frequently sit in the same position. You’ll also get a good stretch in your thighs, glutes, and obliques when you do any variation of child’s pose.

Child’s Pose Benefits

Child’s pose helps to improve flexibility and mobility, along with relieving muscle tension. Practicing this exercise has many potential benefits, including: 

  • Giving your body a break from daily standing and sitting

  • Relieving tension after lifting and carrying heavy objects

  • Decreasing back, shoulder, and hamstring pain

  • Stretching tight hip flexors, which is important if you sit a lot

  • Preventing stiffness in your hips and pelvis area

Child’s Pose: Exercise and Modifications

The information contained in these videos is intended to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice or treatment for any specific condition. Hinge Health is not your healthcare provider and is not responsible for any injury sustained or exacerbated by your use of or participation in these exercises. Please consult with your healthcare provider with any questions you may have about your medical condition or treatment.

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose

To do child’s pose: 

  • Get into a comfortable kneeling position with your shins and feet flat on the floor. 

  • Sit your hips back toward your heels with your feet together and your knees wide apart. 

  • Slide your arms out in front of you on the ground, while moving your hips toward your heels. 

  • Relax your head and chest down toward the floor, as far as is comfortable for you. 

  • Take slow, deep breaths as you hold this position. 

  • Walk your hands back toward your knees and return to an upright position. 

Remember: Everyone is different, and you may need to use modifications to make this stretch either easier or more challenging. 

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Child’s Pose Modifications

Child’s Pose Modifications

Child’s Pose Modifications

Child’s Pose Modifications

To make child’s pose easier:

  • Add cushioning, such as a pillow, under your lower body if you’re having discomfort with kneeling. 

  • Limit how far you move your head and chest toward the floor.

  • Do standing child’s pose instead, which involves resting your hands on a counter or the back of a chair, bending forward from a standing position, and bringing your torso toward your thighs.

To make child’s pose harder:

  • Elevate your hands by touching your fingertips to the floor or placing your hands on a rolled up blanket or towel. This gives you even more room to stretch. 

  • Try lifting your forehead slightly off the mat, maintaining a long and extended spine. This engages your core muscles and requires more strength and stability to hold the pose.

How Hinge Health Can Help You

If you have joint or muscle pain that makes it hard to move, you can get the relief you’ve been looking for with Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy program.

The best part: You don’t have to leave your home because our program is digital. That means you can easily get the care you need through our app, when and where it works for you.

Through our program, you’ll have access to therapeutic exercises and stretches for your condition. Additionally, you’ll have a personal care team to guide, support, and tailor our program to you.

See if you qualify for Hinge Health and confirm free coverage through your employer or benefit plan here.

This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.

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References

  1. Yoga eases moderate to severe chronic low back pain. (2017, June 27). National Institute of Health. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/yoga-eases-moderate-severe-chronic-low-back-pain

  2. Kwok, J. Y. Y., Kwan, J. C. Y., Auyeung, M., Mok, V. C. T., & Chan, H. Y. L. (2017). The effects of yoga versus stretching and resistance training exercises on psychological distress for people with mild-to-moderate Parkinson’s disease: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 18(1). doi:10.1186/s13063-017-2223-x

  3. Panakkat, H. F., & Merrick, D. (2020). An Anatomical Illustrated Analysis  of  Yoga  Postures  Targeting  the  Back  and  Spine Through Cadaveric Study of Back Musculature. International Journal of Cadaveric Studies and Anatomical Variations, 1(1), 33-38.