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Good Form: Get a leg up on flexibility

A deep quadriceps stretch uses a wall for proper form.

January 24, 2011|Karen Voight | Good Form
  • If you want a more intense stretch, let your pelvis to move forward, away from the wall, as you raise your chest up and rest your hands on the top of your left knee.
If you want a more intense stretch, let your pelvis to move forward, away… (Charles Bush )

Try this move against the wall to develop flexibility in your quadriceps, the muscle in the front of your upper leg. Performed properly, you should feel the stretch running from above your knee all the way up to the front of your hip.

Position a mat against a sturdy wall. Bend your right knee and place it against the wall where it meets the mat. Move your left foot forward and put it flat on the floor under your left knee. Make sure your left shin is vertical and your right shin is pressing against the wall. Walk your fingertips forward to your left foot. Slowly raise your chest slightly off your left thigh. Allow your pelvis to move forward, away from the wall. Pause. If this is as far as you can go, hold this position and breathe for 20 to 30 seconds. Release and switch legs to stretch the other side.

For a more intense stretch, progress to this variation. Continue to allow your pelvis to move forward as you raise your chest and rest your hands on the top of your left knee. Slide your shoulder blades down your back and create an upper-back arch as you lift your chest and relax the tops of your shoulders down. Hold this position for six full breaths. Release, switch legs and repeat on the other side.

Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Full Body Stretch" and "Ballet BodySculpt."

karen@karenvoight.com

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