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Exercise

Leg Stretch Can Build Flexibility and Strength

Here’s a dynamic exercise to help you develop flexibility and strength without risking injury or building bulk. You’ll increase your upper body strength while stretching the backs of your legs.

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Step 1.
Kneel with your forearms and palms of your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Spread your fingers, pressing down firmly with your index finger and thumb. Straighten your legs then walk toward your elbows until your heels are close to the floor and your knees are straight. Be sure to push against your forearms and keep your shoulders away from your ears. Do not collapse into your neck and upper shoulders. Pause for three breaths.

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Step 2.  Slowly walk your feet away from your elbows, lower your hips and straighten your knees into a plank position. Balance on your toes and forearms while you tighten your abdominal muscles to keep your pelvis off the floor. Do not allow your midsection to sag. Hold this position for three breaths. Lift your hips and walk back toward your elbows. Repeat three times.

Sources: Los Angeles Times

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Categories
Exercise

Leg Lifts that Boost Overall Strength

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To increase your overall body strength, with special attention on your core, incorporate this straight-legged elbow plank into your daily workouts. You don’t need any tools or equipment, so you can do it anytime, anywhere. Just remember to place your elbows directly below your shoulders when you start. This will help avoid undue tension in your neck.

 

Step 1 ->Begin by kneeling on a flat surface. Place your elbows directly underneath your shoulders, shoulder-width apart. Turn your palms down to the ground and be sure that your forearms are parallel to each other. Curl your toes under and straighten your knees. Lower your hips just below shoulder height. Your body should form a straight line from the back of your neck to your heels.


Step 2:->
Keeping your hips and shoulders facing the floor, shift your weight to your right leg and lift your left foot off the floor. While pushing your right heel backward, keep your right knee straight. Pull your abdominal muscles in toward your spine to support the weight of your pelvis. Draw your shoulder blades down your back, away from your ears. Do not allow your waist to sag. Hold this position for three to six breaths. Lower your left leg, shift your weight to the left and lift your right leg to repeat on the other side. Lower your knees to the floor to release.

Sources: Los Angeles Times

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