Stand with the feet double shoulder width wide, with the feet parallel
to each other. Bend forward from the hips, keep the legs straight,
and let your body hang. Let your head and neck relax. This will
stretch your back and hamstring muscles. Alternatively, you can
place your hands on the ground: this puts less weight and strain
on your legs and back. Important: Keep your knees
straight, and your hips level.
Grab both ankles,
and gently pull yourself down. Keep your knees straight, and your
back as straight as you can. Relax your neck muscles, do not try
to hold your head up.
reach over and hold your left ankle, as shown in the picture on
the left. Be careful not to elevate your hip. Keep your knees straight,
and your feet parallel. Make sure to keep the hips level. Hold the
position, and feel the stretch in your leg and back. At first you
may feel the stretch in your leg, and as it loosens up, you may
feel the stretch in your back. Then, as the back loosens, you will
feel your leg again in a new way. You are stretching deeper and
deeper into your leg muscles. Release slowly, and move over and
hold onto your right ankle. Repeat the stretch for the right side.
This position stretches
the knees, hips, groin, Achilles' tendons, and in some cases, the
back. This is a good position to do after doing the standing leg
stretch above. Start by standing with your feet single shoulder
width apart, and the feet turned out forty five degrees. If you
were in the stretch above, walk your feet closer together until
they are single shoulder width apart. Next, lower your hips into
the position below.
Note the side position: the back is
straight, the chin pulled back. If you cannot get your heels to
the ground, you may keep them up until the Achilles' tendon and
calf muscles stretch and relax. If balance is a problem, you can
also hold onto a chair or wall until the heels touch the floor.
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.