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Fitness | GOOD FORM

Steady does it when stretching legs, resulting in greater flexibility

August 30, 2004|Karen Voight | Karen Voight can be reached at kvoightla@aol.com.

When stretching your legs, a sturdy chair, bench or low wall can be of great assistance. It can make you feel more secure, balanced and comfortable so you stay in the position longer than you would normally. The payoff is that you'll develop a deeper level of flexibility.

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1 Stand facing a stable chair or bench 2 to 2 1/2 feet in front of you. Place your hands on the seat of the chair. Walk your feet about 4 to 5 feet apart. Keep your feet parallel to each other and your knees straight. Inhale and form a straight line with your back from the nape of your neck to your hips.

2 Exhale and move your torso forward, bending at the front creases of your hips. Make sure your legs and back stay straight. Bend the elbows and lift the buttocks to feel the stretch in the inner thighs and backs of your legs. Do not force or bounce the stretch. Stay in your lowest position as you relax and breathe deeply for 15 to 20 seconds. Straighten your arms and slowly rise up from the stretch. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.

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-- Karen Voight

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