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Stretch it out for a long and lean look

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

Have the patience to hold this flexibility move long enough to feel the back of your legs stretching. It’s a great way to encourage your hamstring muscles to return to their original length after a leg-training workout, cycling or hiking. Getting the back of your legs more limber will help reduce strain to your lower back, and make everyday activities easier.

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1 Kneel upright on a mat or a padded surface with your knees directly below your hips. Place your right foot on the floor in front of you. Balance on your heel as you lift your toes toward the ceiling.

2 Bend forward at your hips, and place both hands on the floor on either side of the front foot. Shift your hips back slightly and keep your spine as long as possible. Press the top of your back foot down to help you feel stable. Feel the stretch in the back of your thigh. Continue to walk your hands forward (think of moving your tailbone away from your front heel). Stay in this position for six breaths. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other leg.

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-- Karen Voight


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