Ahhhhh. Good morning! (Streeeetch)
There is no better way to revitalize your muscles, (and sometimes your mind), than a good stretch.
Most of us wake up with a stretch, we stretch when we have stress, and of course we stretch while we are working out.
That leads us to our move today: a knee hug stretch. This move will be stretching your lower back, hips, hamstrings, and your inner and outer thighs. This stretch can be performed either standing up or lying down. All you will need is a flat surface, and possibly something to help hold your balance such as a wall, countertop or chair back.
If standing, hold your chest up, and engage your core for the best amount of balance. Shift your weight onto one leg, lift your free leg up by bending the knee and reach your hands around the bent knee somewhere close to your torso.
You can either keep this stretch where it is, or we can take it slightly deeper by grabbing our free foot and pulling it upward and slightly pushing the bent knee out to the side. So basically, you will be standing tall, balancing on one foot, and your free leg will be bent and pulled up in front of your body. Hold this position for at least a count of eight. Return your bent leg to a standing position, reaffirm your balance and continue on the opposite leg.
This knee hug stretch can be performed a couple of times on each side to guarantee a deep stretch.
This move can be performed at any time whether to relieve a tight lower back, or stretching the legs and lower back after a workout. And remember, if your balance is compromised, keep near to a wall or countertop for reassurance.
Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at email@example.com.