One of the best stretches for Lordosis

Jul 18, 2023

If you have an excessive lumbar curve and you need help to reduce it, there are a number of stretches you can use. Here I want to talk about one of the best ones to use and give you some tips to make sure you’re getting the best out of it. 

Stretching to improve excessive lumbar curve

You may already be familiar with this stretch, and you can tune into the tutorial above, around 0:35, to see an image of the position. But in summary, go down onto two knees, place one foot flat in front of you, so your knee is at a right angle. Then with the leg at the back, hook the foot up on a raised surface, i.e. a bench, so that only your knee is on the floor, creating a V-shape behind you. Place your hands on your front thigh, towards the knee, and lift your shoulders back, keeping your back straight. 

Here, we’re concentrating on the anterior line, adjusting to feel the stretch in the back leg. This stretch is primarily for the rectus femoris muscle, but depending on where you have tightness you may also involve the TFL. 

You have the option to raise the arm that’s on the same side as the back leg if you wish. This will help to engage the Psoas and the iliacus muscles. But I suggest you may be better leaving the arm down so you can focus on just the lower, anterior area of the body. 

Which muscles are we stretching to target Lordosis?

Rectus femoris

We’ve mentioned the rectus femoris, but where is it? The rectus femoris is the long muscle right down the front of the thigh. It connects to the pelvis via a bony protrusion called the anterior inferior iliac spine (AIIS) and then goes all the way down into the quadriceps tendon through the patella and into the patella tendon below the knee.

It’s because this long tendon travels down over the bend of the knee, that positioning the back leg with the foot up on a surface can achieve that good deep stretch.


The TFL, or tensor fasciae latae is the muscle down the side of the leg. This is closely associated with the hip flexors. It starts on the iliac crest, which is at the top of the pelvis, and ends in the IT, or iliotibial, band.  This IT band also crosses the knee, hence it’s another region where bending the knee helps us to get a little bit more length through the IT band which will then get a bit more from the TFL. 

You’ll feel where the tightness is. And that’s the place you should focus. I say to lots of people, don’t worry too much about perfect technique. Just find where the stretch is and exploit where you can feel that tightness. Try to build that into the stretch without pushing too hard or creating pain.

One key thing to focus on: avoid tilting the pelvis

As you hold the position of the stretch, be aware of your pelvis. While it may tilt ever so slightly, make sure it’s not sinking down towards the floor. That will create the lordotic curve you’re trying to avoid and will negate the point of the stretch. 

Instead, tuck the pelvis under by lifting the front of it and pushing the back of the pelvis forward. Doing this will create the length you need in the TFL, allowing for the stretch.

The importance of foam rolling before stretching

One key step I suggest, before you begin this stretch for Lordosis, is foam rolling the upper part of the legs. By placing the foam roller at the top of the thigh and then rolling up and down the length of that long front muscle, you’ll be able to work some pliability into the rectus femoris. This is great to do before you start your stretching. I liken it to a stick of chewing gum or ball of playdough. You take it out and it’s stiff, but then you start working it, in your mouth or with your fingers, and it gradually becomes more pliable and able to stretch further. 

It's that combination of the foam rolling and the stretching that really enhances the benefits of the stretch.

Next, place the foam roller back at the top of the thigh, this time to the side, and target the TFL by rolling the top, the front and just to the side of the hip. See the image and discussion from around 5:55 in the tutorial if you’re unsure how to do this. You want to focus on not only the short movement up and down, but also rock across the fibres, going back and forwards with the hip as well. 

It’s important you foam roll both muscles. Only doing one will mean one becomes pliable and the other is stiff, restricting what you can get from the stretch.


If you would like other stretches, advice and help to correct Lordosis, please click the link below to go through to my How to Correct Lordosis 12-week program.

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