Health & Fitness Fitness & Nutrition

Good form: Finish your workout with a stretch

At the end of your workout routine it's important to stretch the hamstring muscles in the backs of your thighs. With this move, you'll get an extra stretch in your calves and your back as well. Using a pair of yoga blocks will make it easier to balance and more comfortable to practice the move.

Rest your knees on a flat, padded surface or mat. Place each hand on a yoga block positioned directly below your shoulders. Stretch your left leg out in front of you, balancing on your left heel and right knee. Inhale as you lift your chest and lengthen your back.

On exhalation, hinge forward at your hips, maintaining a long, straight spine as you lie over your left leg. Move your yoga blocks forward to bring your hands near your left foot. Push out through your left heel and make sure your right hip stays directly above your right knee. (You may need to bend your left knee slightly to keep your back straight.) Pause in this forward bend for five or six breaths. Concentrate on feeling a deep stretch in the back of your left leg. Release and repeat on the other side.

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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