The classic couch stretch is renowned to be the solution for relieving tight quads and hip flexors. The problem with the couch stretch is people often have trouble controlling the relationship between their pelvis and ribcage being aligned, when this relationship between the two is broken, this can result in photo 1 which will actually tighten the low back and hip flexors more due to the weight dumping forward, doing the opposite of what we’re trying to accomplish.
Instead, set yourself up in a tall half kneeling position facing the wall, place your hands against the wall and use that as a constraint, this will shift your weight back into your ribcage so it sits directly under your pelvis. Lastly scoop your hips under, now you’re properly aligned from ribcage to pelvis.
While in this position, with each breath out (think ‘fogging the glass’) press your hands into the wall to reach your shoulder blades forward while maintaining that hip tuck, to create space in the back of your ribcage.
2 sets of 5 breaths (focus on a nice 5 second exhale) and see what happens. Comment below how it went compared to the original couch stretch