Health & Fitness

Stretch out -- it's good for your abs and back

Some exercises are better than others at warming up the body and preparing it for more vigorous moves. This one is a good way to warm up your arms, legs and torso muscles while lying on the floor. Because it's excellent for stretching and strengthening your abs and back, use it any time you need to take a break from prolonged sitting or standing.

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Karen Voight

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1 Lie flat on your back on a padded surface or mat. Extend your legs in front of you and stretch your arms overhead on the floor with your palms turned inward. Inhale deeply.

2 On an exhale, draw your right knee toward your chest as you simultaneously raise your head, shoulders and chest toward your knee. Pause for two seconds, reaching your arms forward. Focus on bringing your chest and right thigh closer together, without forcing or jerking. Inhale, release your torso down, straighten your leg back to the floor and stretch your arms overhead. Repeat eight times on each side, alternating between legs.

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Karen Voight can be reached at kvoightla@aol.com.

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