The fronts of your thighs and hips can become very tight if you perform a lot of lunges and squats or if you run or hike. Here's a great way to increase the flexibility in those areas while working on your core strength.
Kneel on a padded level surface with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Raise your left knee off the floor behind you, lifting your left heel to the ceiling. Keep your abdominals pulled in to support your spine.
Reach back with your right arm and grasp your left foot with your hand. Hold it firmly as you try to press your heels away from your head. Focus on stretching the muscles in the front of your left hip and upper thigh. Pause, holding your balance and breathing for three to four breaths. Repeat three times. Release your foot and lower your hand and knee back to the floor. Switch sides and repeat on the other side.
Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Full Body Stretch" and "Ballet BodySculpt."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times