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.
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.