Straight approach

Here are two ways to help you stretch your inner thighs and hamstrings. It's very important that you remember to keep your back straight. A common mistake is to lean forward with a rounded upper spine, which makes the stretch less effective.

-- Karen Voight

1 Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you. Place your hands behind you and keep your spine upright as you slide both legs out to the sides as far as they can go. Make sure your toes and knees are facing up toward the ceiling. Inhale as you continue to lift your chest and push out through your heels, pulling your toes backward. Keep your hips on the floor and feel the stretch along the insides of your thighs.

2 As you become more limber, progress to this more advanced version. Walk your hands in front of you and bend forward from your hips. Elongate your spine by reaching out through the crown of your head, pull your abdominals in toward your spine and keep your hips anchored on the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds while breathing fully. Walk your hands back in and raise your torso to come out of the stretch.


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

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