Wellness

How To Do The "Legs Up The Wall" Stretch That's All Over Your FYP

Tinx is a big fan and you should be too.

How to do the legs up the wall stretch from TikTok.
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If you’re a fan of any and all yoga poses that involve lying down — like the extra-comfy corpse pose — then you’ll want to try the “legs up the wall” stretch. Not only does this yoga position offer countless health benefits, but it’s also an equally ideal way to relax. That’s likely why it’s having a moment on TikTok. The “legs up the wall” hashtag has over 15 million views.

Even beloved TikToker Tinx is a fan, saying in one of her videos that she’s done the pose all her life to relieve backaches and swollen feet. She also noted it seems to help her with anxiety, adding “it really calms me down, and I’m obsessed.”

There are quite a few reasons why it feels right to prop your legs up against a wall. According to Pilin Anice, an E-RYT 200- and 500-certified yoga instructor at Ailey Extension, this “restorative pose” inverts the legs, which helps move all the fluids in your body to refresh your circulation, relax your nervous system, and get rid of swelling.

It also soothes the lower back, Anice tells Bustle, and helps relieve tight muscles that can creep in after standing or sitting all day. The pose might even help calm menstrual cramps, she adds, since it encourages circulation. Here’s how to give it a try.

How To Do The “Legs Up The Wall” Stretch

Here, Anice shares how to do the pose with good form so you can soak up as many benefits as possible.

- Find a wall in a comfortable, quiet space.

- Sit next to it with one side of your body touching the wall.

- Turn to face the wall.

- Extend your legs up the wall vertically as you lie down on your back.

- Shimmy your hips closer to the wall to create an L-shape with your body.

- Place your hands on your stomach or alongside your body and focus on taking slow, deep breaths.

- Relax there for five to 10 minutes.

- To exit the pose, bend your knees into your chest and rock onto your side.

- Press back up into a seated position.

When To Do The “Legs Up The Wall” Stretch

Try this stretch whenever you need a moment to yourself, especially if your legs feel fatigued, says Paige Willis, a RYT-200 yoga instructor and founder of Undone, a pop-up yoga concept based in Chicago. Again, it’s the perfect way to remedy a day spent standing or sitting, but it can also come to the rescue if you just traveled or did a tough workout. Do it when you get home from the gym as a cool down, or incorporate it into your nighttime routine to relieve swelling.

“I'd recommend sitting in this shape about five times a week, or even daily if you're up for it, for 20 minutes max,” Willis tells Bustle. “If you're just getting started, ease into it and hold ‘legs up the wall’ for five minutes, then increase your time from there.”

You could also try splitting up the time, spending five minutes with your legs up in the morning, then five more minutes in the evening. “The key to maximizing the benefits of this pose, and any other pose in yoga, is to be consistent with it over time,” says Willis.

Tips For The “Legs Up On The Wall” Stretch

The legs up the wall stretch has many benefits, including improving circulation.

There are lots of ways to adjust this stretch. “If you’re easing into the pose and find it’s uncomfortable at first, move around until you find a sweet spot,” Willis says. You could also place a pillow under your hips, keep a slight bend in your knees, or scoot your hips closer to the wall to find a variation that works for you.

Once you get situated, try to let yourself fully relax. “It will be tempting to fidget or even scroll through social media,” she adds. “But use this time to close your eyes and keep your focus inward as you breathe deeply.” Stretch for five minutes, 10, or chill for a whole 30 like Tinx. Just be sure to listen to your body.

Because this pose temporarily reverses circulation, it helps to take a second to adjust before standing back up, Anice explains. You should also check in with your doctor before giving it a try, especially if you have health issues like high blood pressure or excess fluid retention. But other than that, chances are you’ll agree the “legs up the wall” stretch feels a-mazing.

Sources:

Pilin Anice, E-RYT 200 and 500-certified yoga instructor with Ailey Extension

Paige Willis, RYT-200 yoga instructor, founder of Undone