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Side bends — such as the classic yoga “triangle” pose shown here — will help you stretch the muscles between the ribs called the intercostals. This move will open your chest and improve breathing capacity. You’ll feel a stretch in your hips and the backs of your legs.
STEP-1. Stand with your legs 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Hold your arms out to the sides at shoulder height. Turn your right leg out 90 degrees and turn your left leg in 15 degrees. (Your right heel should be in line with your left arch.) Inhale. On an exhale, move your hips toward the left and bend sideways toward your right leg, placing your right hand anywhere on the right shin that feels comfortable. Raise your left hand above your left shoulder.
STEP-2. Lean back slightly and look up just beyond your left thumb. Keep your eyes focused there as you continue to reach your left arm overhead. Move your shoulders down away from your ears and lengthen your neck. Press the right side of your buttocks forward and pull your abdominals in toward your spine. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds while you breathe evenly.
Sources: Los Angeles Times
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