3 Lower Body Stretches to Improve Flexibility
These 3 moves will increase power, tone your legs and reduce your risk of injury in the gym.
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Unless you want to do your own pedicure from a standing position, touching your toes shouldn’t be the ultimate goal. Instead, if you’re looking to get more limber, aim to create fluid movement of your hips/pelvis and posterior chain (muscles that work together to help you move more effectively, which increases power, tons the legs and backside and reduces your risk of injury). If practices two to three times a week, these three yoga poses will increase your rear flexibility and help you get your nose closer to your toes.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge forward from your hips to bring your chest towards your legs. Grab opposite elbows. Shift your weight forward into the balls of your feet. Engage your quads and work towards gently straightening the legs. Hold for five long, deep breaths.
Stretches: calves and hamstrings
From standing, step the right leg back about two feet, turning your back toes out at a 45-degree angle and keeping the heels aligned. Bend the front knee, making sure the knee is stacked directly over your ankle. Raise your arms overhead. Rotate your back thigh inwards, trying to point the right hip forward while pressing the outer edge of the back foot down. Hold for five long, deep breaths and repeat on the other side.
Stretches: hip flexors
From a kneeling lunge, with hands pressing into the front thigh, let your pelvic floor sink downward while you engage the glutes of your rear leg. Hold for five long, deep breaths, using exhalations to try and sink closer to the floor, then repeat on the other side.