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Roller enhances a leg stretch

March 01, 2010
(Charles Bush )

For a more intense stretch in the backs of your thighs and calves, try elevating your foot on a roller. But it's important to put only your lower ankle and heel on top of the roller; this avoids any pressure on your Achilles tendon.

1. Sit upright on the floor with your left leg straight in front of you and your left heel on top of the roller. Bend your right knee and position your right foot against the inside of your left knee (if your left knee tends to hyperextend, place your right foot directly under your left knee for support). Inhale, sit up tall and reach your arms overhead.

2. On an exhale, maintain a long spine as you tilt forward, hinging at the hips. Keep your left leg straight and rest your fingertips on the roller. Hold this stretch for 10 to 20 seconds while breathing fully. Focus on feeling the stretch in the back of your left thigh and calf. You might feel a stretch in your back and hips too. Switch legs and repeat.

Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Sleek Essentials."

karen@karenvoight.com

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