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Good Form: A knee-saving exercise for the hamstrings

FitnessHealth

Here's a terrific way to train your hamstrings (the muscles in the back of your thighs) and buttocks without overworking the fronts of your thighs. It's excellent for people who have sensitive knees and cannot perform squats or lunges.

Begin on all fours on a padded, level surface. Place your elbows on the floor under your shoulders, palms facing down. Balance on your right knee, making sure it's directly below your right hip. Now straighten your left leg behind you and raise it up to hip level. Press out through your left heel and flex your foot. Keep your abdominals pulled in toward your spine and avoid over-arching your lower back.

Move your right foot a little to the left. Slowly start to bend your left knee, bringing it down just to the outside of your right calf. Pause for 2 seconds with your knees very close together. Keep your abdominals pulled in, and make sure your shoulders and hips stay level to the floor throughout the entire exercise. Straighten your left leg out and repeat. Perform 10 to 20 repetitions on each leg.

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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