3 Exercises To Fix Knee Pain When Sitting Cross-Legged

Do you experience knee pain when sitting cross-legged?

If so, it's easy to feel like your knee is the problem. After all, it's the knee that hurts right?

However, in most cases, knee pain when crossing your legs is actually a consequence of poor hip mobility.

It's also important to note that sitting cross-legged is a normal human movement. It's just an expression of hip flexion and external rotation. So, in theory, it's something all of us should have the capacity to do - if we haven't lost the hip range necessary to allow it to happen.

If we have less hip rotational range than our body is looking for, the force is translated down the chain to the next available joint - the knee. But the knee is a hinge joint. It's essentially designed to bend and extend in a linear plane, not rotate or hinge sideways like it's asked when crossing your legs (and the hip isn't doing its job).

So, if crossing your legs hurt your knees the focus should include your hip if you'd like to understand any broader underlying cause of that pain.

Thankfully, that's the very topic of this video! Watch as I discuss what your knee and hip may have become dysfunctional, and cover three helpful hip stretches to improve how those knees feel when sitting cross-legged!

Let me know how you find the exercises! 



  • 0:00 Intro
  • 1:53 Cause of Knee Pain When Sitting Cross-Legged
  • 3:30 Cause of Hip Tightness
  • 5:18 Hip Capsule Stretch (External Rotation Bias)
  • 8:51 Pigeon Stretch
  • 12:13 Ball Hip Mobility (External Rotation Bias)


If you genuinely found this video helpful please consider leaving a SUPER THANKS donation on the video. Also, please consider subscribing to the Your Wellness Nerd YouTube channel for more helpful information.

- Grant

Related: How to Do the Couch Stretch

Helpful equipment:

Please note: These are affiliate links.

If you'd like help trying to uncover the underlying cause of your knee pain, consider booking in an online Telehealth consultation with Grant here!

grant frost physiotherapy online telehealth consultation
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.