How to Do Frog Stretch – Technique, Safety, & Variations
Table of Contents
- Frog Pose or Mandukasana
- Benefits of Frog Stretch
- How to Do Frog Pose
- Avoid Injury During Frog Pose
- Frog Pose Variations
- Wrapping Up
In frog stretch, or Mandukasana, the position of the body resembles the small amphibian with long and powerful hind legs. This hip opener is not only a classic yoga pose but a stretch that is utilized in other disciplines and sports, as it helps tone the adductor muscles involved in speed, changes of pace or direction, and balance.
Take your time to understand the basics of Frog Pose, so you can practice different variations safely, no matter how flexible you are.
Frog Pose or Mandukasana
Considered an intermediate or advanced posture in yoga, Frog Pose is great for opening the hip flexors and stretching the groins, adductors, ankles, and feet.
Some variations also engage your abdomen, chest, lower back, and throat.
While the yoga frog position certainly requires practice and flexibility, it is still accessible to all levels, as there are modified variations for beginners.
Benefits of Frog Stretch
Frog stretch will not only help you gain flexibility but also offers additional benefits, including:
- increased sacroiliac joint mobility, which can help relieve low back and sciatic pain relief from chronic tightness in the hips and lower back
- strengthened back muscles and better posture
- improved circulation and increased blood flow
- enhanced lung function — certain variations of Frog Pose open the chest allowing more oxygen to flow through the body, which can also help improve circulation and tone the respiratory muscles
- refined digestion — Frog stretch in yoga helps to stimulate internal organs such as the kidneys, intestines, and liver.
How to Do Frog Pose
When practicing yoga frog stretch, use a mat or a yoga mat substitute to support your knees.
How to Practice:
- Begin in Table Top, on hands and knees, preferably on a padded surface.
- Turn your thighs and knees out as far as your flexibility allows.
- Flex your feet and open them in line with your knees; keep your shins parallel to each other.
- Begin to lower your pelvis, if possible, to deepen the stretch.
- Keep your neck in line with your spine. Make sure not to arch your neck back or let it hang down.
- Inhale and exhale slowly, in a steady, conscious pace.
- You may rock your hips back and forth to go deeper, always paying attention to how you feel, so that you do not strain or force the pose.
- To release the pose, bring your legs together, and soften into Child’s pose to rest.
Avoid Injury During Frog Pose
To avoid injury when practicing this stretch:
- Warm up beforehand to prepare all the joints and muscles involved in the posture.
- Use a padded surface to protect your knees.
- Know your limitations. Avoid straining or forcing, and only go as far as your body allows. The longer you stay in the pose with smooth, steady breaths, the more your body may open, so be patient.
- Consult your doctor prior to practicing if you have any pain or injuries in your hips, back, pelvis, spine, or knees.
Frog Pose Variations
Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced practitioner, there is a Frog Pose variation for you.
Restorative Frog Pose With Bolster
Frog stretch can be tricky for beginners or for those with limited flexibility. This variation, with the help of a prop, can ease you in. With a yoga bolster or cushion for support, this restorative option is excellent for relieving lower back and hip pain.
If you find your hips are still tight, don’t hesitate to stack another bolster under your torso or place some folded blankets or pillows underneath your thighs. You can also practice hip-opening yoga stretches to improve your hip mobility in the long run.
Frog Pose With Chest on the Floor
If you are able to practice Frog Pose without straining, and your hips are already warm and open, consider this advanced variation.
Make sure your breath is smooth as you slowly shift your torso forward, lowering your pelvis and inner thighs closer to the ground. This will intensely stretch these areas, as well as the groins and hip flexors.
Keep your feet flexed to protect and stabilize your knee and ankle joints.
Frog Pose with Backbend
This is another advanced variation that adds the element of an elevated backbend to further stretch the abdominals, chest, and shoulders.
Start in Table Top position. Turn out your thighs and knees with your feet strongly flexed to stabilize the knee and ankle joints. Keeping your arms extended and shoulder-width apart, lift your chest and broaden your collarbones. Maintain an upright spine, and only if your neck is feeling healthy, allow the head to drop back slowly. Breathe smoothly and evenly into the stretch.
You may also like: 6 Yoga Poses For Shoulders
Frog Pose offers many good health benefits that will help you stay fit and flexible.
If you want to practice yoga from home, download the Yoga-Go application and discover a multitude of postures that will help you achieve a toned and healthy body!