If you're sticking to a New Year's resolution to work out more, you'll enjoy this dance-inspired move from BarreAmped creator Suzanne Bowen.
What it does
Lengthens and stretches thighs and hamstrings that are tight from working out (or just too much time at a desk).
What to do
Find a sturdy support — perhaps a kitchen counter or the back of a chair that won't slide — and grab a towel or mat to cushion the knee. Get into a "kneeling lunge" position: Place your right foot out in front so there's a 90-degree angle to the knee, and slide the left knee a few inches behind your left hip, making sure the toes of your rear foot are tucked under.
Hold on to your support and keep hips "squared up" to the front at all times, because that's how you'll maximize the stretch in the following two moves:
1. Press forward a few inches into your right leg just until you feel a gentle stretch in the opposite hip. If you have very tight hips, this might be as far as you go. (Protect the front knee by making sure it doesn't extend out beyond the toes.) For a more advanced stretch, straighten the left leg behind you and then press forward.
2. When you're ready to move on, reposition the rear leg as needed so you can stretch your right leg straight out in front of you. Keep your back straight and lean a few inches forward from the hips and feel the stretch in the right hamstring.
Don't push too hard. You're after a gentle, invigorating stretch that will help ease soreness and get you ready for your next workout.
Take two to five deep breaths with each position. Remember to switch sides.
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