Starting Position: Sit on a mat or floor with your legs in a wide "V" position, as illustrated. Sit completely upright, with your torso vertical to the floor, head aligned with your spine. Your knees should be straight and your toes pointed toward the ceiling. Be aware that the angle of your legs may need to be adjusted in order for you to achieve this upright posture. Reach your arms out in front of your body and place your palms flat on the mat/floor.
Engage your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Gently exhale as you slowly bend forward, hinging from your hips. Continue to reach forward with your hands. Keep your back flat. Do not allow your spine to round. Keep your head aligned with your spine. Do not allow your head to droop or tip upward. Your knees should be straight with your toes toward the ceiling throughout the stretch. You should feel a stretch through your inner thighs with some smaller stretching in your low, middle and upper back, calves and hamstrings.
Continue to hinge and reach forward to the point of tension in the stretch. Do not bounce or push to a point of pain. Hold this position for 15 - 30 seconds. Relax and return to your starting position. Repeat 2-4 times.
Exercise Variation: This stretch can become more dynamic by performing slow, controlled movements to complete 1 set of 5 - 10 repetitions, holding the stretched position for 1 - 2 seconds.
To maximize the benefits of a stretch and reduce the potential for injury, it is important to stretch only to the point of tension, avoid bouncing and control movement at other segments of the body. During this stretch, avoid any excessive rounding of your low back