Tag Archives: Hip

Bend and Stretch those Hamstrings

Use a chair as a helpful tool in stretching the backs of your upper thighs, or hamstrings. The elevation of the chair allows you to maintain a straight back so you can focus the stretch in the legs.

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Stand in front of a sturdy chair with toes facing forward. Shift your weight to your left leg and place your right foot on the seat of the chair, keeping your right knee straight and your toes facing up toward the ceiling. Maintain a straight back as you bend forward at the hips, resting your fingertips on the chair seat on each side of your foot. Pause for three to six breaths, feeling the stretch in the back of your right thigh. Repeat on the other side.

As your legs become more flexible, practice a more advanced version of the stretch — placing your right foot on the top of the chair backrest and resting your hands on the top of the chair on each side of the foot. As before, pause for three to six breaths, feeling the stretch in the back of your right thigh. Repeat on the other side.

Source : Los Angeles Times

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Build Strength and Balance

This exercise is designed to build strength and balance in your core and leg muscles. In the beginning, to help with balance, use a yoga block under your hands. With time and practice, you’ll be able to let go, moving your arms out to the sides.

Position a yoga block in front of you, and start by standing upright with your feet together. With straight legs, hinge forward at the hips, rest your hands on the block and raise your left leg behind you. Make sure your left knee is straight, knee and toes facing the floor. Pull your abdominals inward to support the spine. Focus your eyes at one spot on the floor for better balance. Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds.

While maintaining your balance, slowly raise your hands off the block and move them straight out to the sides until they’re at shoulder level. Continue to keep both knees straight and your abdominals pulled in toward the spine. To come out of the pose, lower your hands to the block and your leg to the floor. Stand up slowly and repeat on the other side. Note: This is a difficult pose, so be patient and focus on your breath if you start feeling frustrated.

Los   Angeles Times

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Roller Puts the Work in the Abs

You’ll feel this exercise more in the abdominal muscles — and less in the hip flexors — by gripping a roller with the backs of your thighs. That’s because recruiting the backs of your legs will prevent you from overworking the front of your legs and hips. The result is an intense workout for your abs.


Lie on a mat or a padded surface. Cross your ankles and hug a 36-inch roller by squeezing your heels toward your hips. (Hold the roller behind your ankles, not behind your knees.) Place your hands behind your head. Inhale.

On an exhale, contract your abdominals and, without dropping the roller, raise your tailbone and hips slightly off the floor. Simultaneously roll your head, shoulders and upper back off the floor, moving your body into a tight ball. Pause at the peak of the contraction, then slowly release down to the starting position. Repeat 12 to 16 times. Rest, change the cross of your legs and repeat for another set.

Source : Los Angeles Times

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Yoga Block Enhances Stretch

Using a yoga block in your practice helps bring the floor up to you, allowing you to focus on correct technique while feeling a sense of stability. Over time, your body will lossen up and you’ll be able to balance without the use of this tool.

Begin by kneeling on a level, padded surface with a yoga block nearby. Straighten your left leg, placing your left heel on the floor with your knee and toes facing upward. Make sure your left heel is directly across from your right inner knee. Move the block behind your left knee. Rest your left arm on your left thigh. On an inhale, reach your right arm overhead with your palm facing inward.

Exhale and lean your torso toward your left foot. Keep your hips forward — don’t sit backward. Focus on feeling the stretch along the right side of your body. Hold this position for 3 to 6 breaths. Return to center, switch legs and repeat on the other side.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Roller Enhances a Leg Stretch

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.
STEP-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.

STEP-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.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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