No matter the physical activity, stretching and warming up is imperative to your performance. The intensity of the activity will depend on how in-depth your pre-stretching and post-stretching will be. And always remember, stretching doesn’t have to be connected to physical activity or intense fitness. It can simply be a way to wake up, preparing your body for the day, or taking a few moments for yourself and giving your body a stress release.
Our move today is a hurdler stretch. This move will be stretching your hips, hamstrings, inner thighs and your lower back. All you will need is a flat surface and a yoga mat.
Begin this move by sitting and positioning one leg in front of your body, bending your knee in a 90-degree angle, pointing the foot inward while the knee is placed outward. Take the other leg to your backside and position it opposite of the front leg, bending in the knee and placing your weight on the inner thigh. Imagine watching an Olympic hurdler’s body position as they cross over the hurdle.
Once you find your proper positioning, proceed to lean forward into a fold over the front leg. Go as far as you can and hold this stance until you feel a good release in the hips, hamstrings, and lower back. Shoot for at least a 10 count or even a 30 second hold would be substantial. Release, and repeat on the opposite side.
You may notice one side is always more comfortable than the other as we tend to use one side of our body more than the other.
This stretch is good for lower body workouts and for runners as well.
So even when you’re taking a small break in your day to watch a little TV, this stretch is a great viewing position.
— Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA, can be reached at email@example.com.