Step 1

Starting Position: Lie flat on your back on the floor / mat with both legs extended, arms outstretched to your sides at shoulder level, with palms facing upwards. Stiffen (“brace”) your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine, depress and retract your scapulae (pull shoulders back and down) without moving your trunk and attempt to hold these positions throughout the exercise.  Place the heel of one foot on top of the toes of the other foot, aligning both feet vertically.

 

Step 2

Gently exhale and slowly rotate your hips, attempting to drop the inside of the top foot towards the floor while keeping both knees extended.  Attempt to rotate the hips until they align vertically, or near vertically with the floor with little rotation occurring through your trunk.  Avoid arching your low back during this rotation.

 

Step 3

Hold this position for 15 – 30 seconds then relax and return to your starting position.  Perform 2 – 4 repetitions then change your foot position and repeat with the opposite side.

 

Step 4

Exercise Variation: This stretch can become more dynamic by performing slow, controlled movements to complete 1 set of 5 - 10 repetitions with each leg, holding the stretched position for 1 - 2 seconds.

 

To maximize the benefits of a stretch and reduce the potential for injury, it is often important to stretch only to the point of tension, avoid bouncing and control movement at other segments of the body.  During this stretch, attempt to avoid any rotation or arching in your low back

 

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