This stretch opens up your hips, stretches your Achilles' tendon,
groin, and the hamstring muscle of the extended leg.
First, stand with the feet double shoulder with wide. You may have
to vary this width depending upon your flexibility. Your feet should
be facing 45 degrees to the front.
Slowly bend your right knee, keeping your knee
pointed over your toes. (Picture on left.) Place your hands on the
floor. Keep as much weight on your hands as necessary.
Slowly lower your hips, and roll your left foot
so that your toes are pointed towards the ceiling. The extended
leg should be straight, not bent. Keep as much weight on your hands
as needed, since this position may be uncomfortable until you are
more flexible.(Picture on right above)
If you cannot keep
the heel of your right foot on the ground, because the Achilles'
tendon is too tight, you can keep the heel up until you can relax
it down to the floor. Go slow. You do not want to strain your Achilles
tendon. The right knee is over the toes, and the right leg is 45
degrees to the body.
Come out of the position by rolling your left
foot down the floor. Straighten your body until you are standing,
and use your right leg to push the rest of the way up. Go slowly
and you will build tremendous strength in your legs.
on the other side, with the
left leg bent, and the right leg extended.
Below are two alternate
ways to hold your hands. The picture on the left shows how to hold
your body weight on your hands, to take some of the stretch (strain
in some cases) off of the legs. As you get more comfortable, you
can let all the weight go into the legs, as demonstrated in the
picture on the right. There is no weight on the hands in the picture
on the right.
Here is a more difficult way to do the above
stretch. In some ways, it is more advanced since you are working
to open the groin muscles on the bent leg more. First, stand with
your feet a little more than double shoulder width wide. Turn your
left foot 90 degrees from your right foot, which is facing toes
towards the front of the room. Turn your hips towards the wall you
are facing (in the picture below left, I have turned my hips towards
the camera, and have my hands on my hips to demonstrate where the
hips should be).
One the above right is a picture of the hips
in the wrong position, angled to the side. Contrast this position
to the one on the left. Note how the whole body is angled off the
the left side.
Lower your upper body a little while bending your
left knee. Place your left hand on the inside of your left foot,
and your left elbow on the inside of your left knee. (picture on
left). Now, drop your hips down, and use your left arm to hold your
left knee from collapsing inward. This increase the stretch on your
left leg. Keep the left foot on the ground as you roll your right
foot upwards, keeping your left heel on the ground. (picture on
right). Get out of the stretch as follows: roll your right foot
to the ground, raise your body up, and push up with your left leg.
Repeat on the other side.
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.