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Can Frog Pose Really Help with Pain, Circulation, Digestion, Stress, and Better Sex?

By Katie Robinson for Everyday Health.

If you’ve never heard of Frog pose, TikTokers think you should learn the classic yoga pose. Videos claiming it’s a cure all for everything from pain to digestion to mental health to better sex are going viral.

TikToker Olga Urbanovich (426.3K followers) posted a video in September 22, 2021, claiming that practicing a daily, one-minute Frog pose position could improve your sex life, strengthen the pelvic muscles, stimulate digestion, and promote better circulation. The video has since garnered 14 million views.

Other TikTokers have been raving about Frog pose and posting their own videos ever since: #frogpose now has 23.1 million views and #frogposechallenge has 289.9 thousand views. They claim the benefits go beyond Urbanovich’s list.

TikToker Vanessa Hammond (36.9K followers) posted a video on March 15 with 1.5 thousand likes claiming the pose helps with opening up hips and overall flexibility.

Mariah McLean (5K followers) posted a video on February 22 with 14.7 thousand views claiming the pose reduces stress and anxiety.

Victoria Sisco (223.9K followers) posted a video on February 10 with 2.9 thousand likes saying Frog pose aids in relieving lower back pain and knee pain and strengthens the back.

Does the pose actually deliver on any of these purported benefits? And should you try it?

What Is Frog Pose?

“Frog pose is primarily a stretching pose for the hips and inner thighs,” explains Monisha Bhanote, MD, an integrative medicine physician in private practice in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and a yoga teacher certified by Yoga Medicine. “Frog pose is a yoga pose that targets the hips and inner thighs (adductor muscles).” Mandukasana is the traditional Sanskrit name for the pose.

You get into the pose by:

  • Getting into a tabletop position on the floor with hands and knees on the ground supporting your body weight (keeping the back parallel to the ground)
  • Bringing your weight forward onto your hands as you slowly slide your knees out to the side
  • Keeping your knees bent, slowing drawing feet out to the sides, too, so they’re directly behind the knees and rotating the feet so your body weight is resting on the inner arches
  • Bending elbows, lowering arms toward the ground for support, and sitting back into your hips as much as you can (which should provide a pretty intense groin stretch)

What Experts Think About Frog Pose — and What Benefits It Can Actually Deliver

“Frog pose can provide certain health benefits,” Dr. Bhanote says. But, the improvements you’ll experience depend largely on how much time you spend in Frog pose and your body state.

“Frog pose can help with stretching the inner thighs and hips, as well as improving overall flexibility and range of motion — particularly around the hips, as those are major areas at play in the posture,” Bhanote explains. It also stretches the muscles of the back, so it can help relieve lower back tension, too.

While there aren’t many studies performed on Frog pose specifically, research says that in comparison to physical therapy, yoga provides equal pain improvement on patients with chronic lower back pain.

Bhanote adds that Frog pose can help strengthen the core and pelvic muscles. A study published in May 2017 in the International Journal of Yoga indeed concludes that the core muscles engage for yoga poses that require trunk and pelvic movements; Bhanote says Frog pose is one such movement.

And while studies haven’t (yet) specifically looked at whether Frog pose can help relieve stress better than other yoga poses, Bhanote says there is evidence that consistent yoga practice can help people manage stress; research shows that just 12 minutes of yogic meditation can reverse neural responses linked to stress.

“And if you’re doing yoga correctly, you’re breathing slowly and deeply, which can also help with stress and anxiety,” Bhanote adds. (Other research indeed concludes that breathwork in yoga improves mood and can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, according to a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in March 2017.)

What about the claim that Frog pose can help with circulation? Again, there’s little evidence that Bhanote says she’s aware of that’s specifically looked at Frog pose and circulation, but research does suggest that meditative practices, such as yoga, can help reduce blood pressure. One small study also indicated that practicing simple yoga poses at home may have an antihypertensive effect.

Bhanote cautions that Frog pose, however, will probably not help with knee pain — and could actually make it worse. “I have seen knee pain aggravated with this pose,” she says.

And whether one minute a day is enough to make a difference, Bhanote says generally the more time you devote to a yoga practice, the more it’s going to help with any of these things. “The more you practice, the more you will benefit.”

Who Should Try (and Avoid) Frog Pose

“Frog pose is generally a safe one for most people,” Bhanote says. “But know that it will yield a pretty intense stretch for the groin, inner thigh muscles, and hips. Start slowly and don’t go deeper in the pose if you start to feel pain. Practicing it with consistency will improve flexibility and your ability to sit back farther in the posture.”

“Additionally, if you feel pain or discomfort, stop and rest in child’s pose — with hands and knees on floor in tabletop position, sit back onto your heels and lower forehead toward the ground.”

And if you feel too much pressure in the knees, try folding a yoga mat or blanket under your knees and ankles for support or try using a yoga bolster (or pillow) to rest your chest or head on. If you have a previous knee injury or have knee pain, Bhanote suggests skipping the pose.

“Pregnant women should be careful doing the pose,” Bhanote adds. It may be safe if someone has previous yoga experience, but to know if it’s okay for you, check with your doctor.

People with knee, ankle, hip, or lower back injuries should also avoid the pose or check with their doctor before trying it.

The Bottom Line on Frog Pose

Frog pose can definitely offer a number of health benefits, namely flexibility and range of motion to the muscles and joints of the hips. But it’s an advanced position, and can be intense for beginners. If you’re going to try it, do so slowly and gently. Avoid (or check with your doctor first) if you are pregnant or have lower body or lower back injuries.

While it’s possible that Frog pose can offer some of the benefits TikTokers mentioned, Bhanote adds a quick caveat to this generalization: “Limited studies are done on individual yoga poses.” So it’s tough to say with certainty if any one position can provide the same health benefits for everyone.

About the Author

Yoga Medicine®

Yoga Medicine®

Yoga Medicine® is a thorough, anatomically based training system that trains teachers across the globe to work more powerfully with their students. Yoga Medicine® is a community of teachers who are trained to understand the function and dysfunction of the human body in order to work more effectively with healthcare practitioners. Yoga Medicine® loves to post articles based on yoga teacher's experiences, yoga-related research, the relationship between yoga and healthcare, and much more. We welcome guest submissions as well - please contact info@yogamedicine.com to discuss further details.

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