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Fitness | GOOD FORM

Concentrate on strength and balance

May 26, 2003|Karen Voight | Karen Voight can be reached at kvoightla@aol.com.

To build strength in your back, buttocks and thigh muscles, while also developing a deeper sense of concentration and focus, practice balancing moves such as this one every day. Remember to move slowly while getting into, and out of, the final position.

1 Begin by standing with feet together, toes pointed forward. Shift your weight over your right leg, and extend your left leg behind you. As you inhale, raise your arms overhead, then exhale, pulling in your abdominals toward your spine.

2 Slowly tilt your upper body forward and lift your left leg upward, while balancing over your right leg. Be sure to keep your hip bones and shoulders facing the floor and your thighs and knees straight. When your upper body is parallel to the floor, or nearly parallel, pause and focus on lifting the left leg to hip level, or slightly above. Stretch your body in both directions as much as you can. Breathe evenly and focus your gaze on one spot to help maintain your balance. Remain in this position for at least 30 seconds. To move out of the position, maintain your balance over your right leg while you slowly lift your torso and return to the start position. Repeat the move by lifting the right leg this time.

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-- Karen Voight

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