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Prop Stretching

The purpose of this page is to introduce you to the use of props for stretching. One of my favorite props is the karate belt. Any webbed belt can be used, even a long sash or cloth can work. The terry cloth belt from a bathroom robe is ideal. The belt should be soft, and of a non stretchy material.



If your hamstrings are too tight for you to reach your foot, as shown on the general stretch pages, you can use a belt to help reach the foot. Two examples are shown above.


Here's a great way to help you stretch your hips. This works particularly well if you have trouble with any of the hip stretches. The belt allows you to relax muscles that are normally held tight in most people. First, place the belt behind your back (picture on left). The picture on right shows the rear view of belt position.


Place one end of the belt under your both feet, and bring both ends to one side. Now tie the belt to one side of your hip.


Below is the completed position, with the belt tied. Now, relax your hips and groin muscles. If you are tight, you may have noticed that when you have attempted the bent leg stretch for the groin, it is hard to relax your groin, and your legs want to spring forward out of the position. With the belt, you can relax the muscles and allow the groin to stretch. The belt will hold them in place and allow you to let go of the tension.


Now, when you can comfortably relax your low back and groin, you can try to lie back. Be careful. Use your elbows and hands to lower yourself to the floor. You will find that it will be easier for you to stretch your groin with the belt. Let go of the tension in your knees and inner thigh. Get out of the position slowly using both hands.

 

Disclaimer

It is possible to injure onself in any physical activity. Consult your physician if in doubt about your physical condition before embarking on a stretching program. The author of howtostretch.com accepts no liability for any injuries sustained while practicing any of the stretches described within.

 

 

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