Begin and end your workouts with this simple but very effective stretch for the sides of your torso. If your hips are tight, you will also feel a deep stretch there as well. Remember to breathe fully and completely while you are holding the pose.
Kneel on a flat, padded surface. Keep your right knee on the floor and place your left foot flat on the floor to the side as shown: heel in line with your right knee, toes pointed to the left and your knee directly above your left ankle. Reach your right arm behind you and grasp your left inner thigh with your fingertips. Inhale and raise your left arm above your left shoulder, palm facing inward.
On an exhalation, lean your left shoulder toward your left knee, reaching under your left thigh with your left hand and grasping your right hand behind your hips. (If you can't go that deep, simply rest your left elbow and forearm on the inside of your left inner thigh.) Look upward and continue to lean to the left, moving your right shoulder and left knee backward as you lift your chest upward. Focus on elongating the right side of your torso. Hold this pose for three breaths. Return to the start position and repeat on the other side.
Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Full Body Stretch" and "Ballet BodySculpt."