The Frog pose is a classic yoga pose you may have heard about on TikTok. Videos have claimed it’s a cure all for everything from pain to digestion to mental health to better sex.
Does the pose actually deliver on any of these benefits? And should you try it?
What Is Frog Pose?
Frog pose is primarily a stretching pose for the hips and inner thighs, says 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.
To get into the Frog pose:
- Get 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).
- Bring your weight forward onto your hands as you slowly slide your knees out to the side.
- Keep your knees bent and slowly draw your feet out to the sides, too, so they’re directly behind the knees, and then rotate the feet so your body weight is resting on the inner arches.
- Bend your elbows, lower your arms toward the ground for support, and sit 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 stretch your inner thighs and hips and improve your overall flexibility and range of motion particularly around the hips, Bhanote says. It also stretches your back muscles, 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 for patients with chronic lower back pain.
Bhanote adds that Frog pose can help strengthen the core and pelvic muscles. One study found that the core muscles engage for yoga poses that require trunk and pelvic movements. Bhanote says Frog pose falls into that category.
And while studies haven’t 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.
If you’re doing yoga correctly, you’re breathing slowly and deeply, which can also help with stress and anxiety, Bhanote says. (Other research concludes that breathwork in yoga improves mood and can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.)
What about the claim that Frog pose can help with circulation? Bhanote says there’s little evidence that 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 found that practicing simple yoga poses at home may have a positive effect on blood pressure.
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, Bhanotes says generally the more time you devote to a yoga practice, the more it’s going to help with any of these things, she says. “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, she says.
Additionally, if you feel pain or discomfort, stop and rest in child’s pose, Bhanote says. Place your hands and knees on the floor in tabletop position, sit back onto your heels, and lower your 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) as a support for your chest or head. If you have a previous knee injury or have knee pain, Bhanote suggests skipping the Frog pose.
Pregnant women should be careful doing the pose, Bhanote adds. It may be safe if someone has previous yoga experience, but check with your doctor first, she says.
People with knee, ankle, hip, or lower back injuries should also avoid the Frog 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. It can improve flexibility and range of motion of your hips and joints. But it’s an advanced position, and can be intense for beginners. If you’re going to try Frog pose, 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.