Step 1

Starting Position:  Stand with your feet in straddle position (wider than hip-width apart) with your left foot pointing forward and your right foot pointed to the side and arms by your sides.  Line up the heel of your left foot, with your right heel.  Stiffen your abdominal muscles (“brace”) to stabilize your spine, then depress and retract your scapulae (pull shoulders down and back) without arching your low back. Hold your chest up and tilt your head slightly up.


Step 2

Reach your left arm straight into the air, keeping it close to your head and palm tuned in (pinky in front, thumb in back).  Keep your shoulders down, letting only the arm lift. Place your right hand lightly on your right leg. 

 

Step 3

Slowly drop your right shoulder letting your right hand move closer to your right foot.  Continue reaching up and over with your left arm as you move into lateral flexion (bending to the side). Maintain abdominal bracing and keep your head in line with your spine.  Your weight should be distributed evenly through both legs.  Maintain an open chest, keeping your right arm in line with your ear. 

 

Step 4

Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds for a total of 2-4 repetitions.  Move into the stretch a littler deeper with each repetition.  Repeat on the opposite side.

 

When sliding your hand down your leg, make sure you do not allow your hand to rest directly on your knee.  Place it above or below depending on your flexibility.  Your hand should rest lightly on the leg, not support your body weight.  Do not compromise form in order to reach your hand closer to the ground. 

 

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