Don’t be put off by the name of this exercise: Baby Salutation.
Sara Haley, a Santa Monica-based pre- and postnatal exercise specialist and creator of the “Expecting More” workout series for pregnant women, says you don’t need to be with child to enjoy the benefits of a move that provides a luxurious full-body stretch. (Haley was five months pregnant at the time of this photo shoot. She has since given birth to a baby boy.)
What it does
This move offers a side body stretch as it helps with tight hips, hamstrings and inner thighs. “It’s going to feel amazing,” Haley says. She calls this exercise a “salutation” due to the continuous flow of the movements. Inhale and exhale deeply with the movements, which will also help ease stress.
What to do
Stand alongside a sturdy chair placed on a mat or carpet — someplace where the chair won’t slide away from you. Position yourself so you can easily place the heel closest to the chair on the seat of the chair, toe pointing to the ceiling. Using the back of the chair for balance, inhale as you reach the opposite hand up and over, keeping the chest open and facing the front of the room. Feel the stretch along your side and hamstring. Slowly return to a standing position, turn around and repeat on the other side. Try to keep moving throughout the exercise, breathing throughout the movements and enjoying the rhythm of it all.
If you find that the chair is too high or balance is an issue, you can leave the heel on the floor and still enjoy this stretch.
Repeat the stretch four times on each side. Your range of motion will improve over time.