Health & FitnessFitness & Nutrition

An easy release for the back

Fitness

If your back feels stiff and tight, try lying on the floor for a few minutes and hugging your knees into your chest. This is a safe and effective way to release tight muscles in your back, legs and groin.

Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent (you can place a small folded towel under your head for comfort). Bend your right knee into your chest and pause. Check that the back of your hips remains on the floor. Elongate your neck by moving your shoulders down away from your ears. Tuck your chin in slightly.

Bring your left leg into your chest and move both hands over the tops of your shins. Breathe fully as you relax your hips and the back of your head on the ground. If this feels uncomfortable to your knees, separate them and hold the backs of your thighs, letting your legs fold naturally over your torso. This will take any pressure off your knees. Hold and breathe in this position for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat as often as necessary throughout your day.

Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Full Body Stretch" and "Ballet BodySculpt."

karen@karenvoight.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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