A Long Stretch To End Your Workout

This stretch is a relaxing way to end your workouts. It will keep your legs and back muscles limber and help reduce the stiffness and soreness that often follow a tough workout.

1: Sit on a flat, padded surface or mat. Extend both legs straight out in front of you. Hook a towel or a band around the balls of your feet and grasp the ends with each hand. Inhale and sit upright. Exhale and lean forward from the hips, maintaining a straight spine. Engage your upper back muscles to slide your shoulder blades down your back. Hold this position for three breaths.

2: If you're very flexible and want to progress to a deeper stretch, release the band or towel and bend forward to grasp your feet with your hands. Be sure to keep your big toes together, pointing them up. Your knees should be straight. Focus on pressing out through your heels as you bend your elbows out to the sides. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds while breathing fully. Release your hands from your feet and slowly sit up to come out of this stretch.

Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Sleek Essentials."

karen@karenvoight.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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