This is the perfect stretch to accompany last week’s exercise, bottom circles. I’m assuming you have all been practicing the bottom circles diligently, so this stretch will come at a perfect time.
There are always a few different ways to stretch one specific area of your body. Different stretching positions will resonate with different people. I find this stretch a good deep stretch for my glute med (gluteus medius) and the other external rotators of my hip.
Sit with both of your legs extended in front of your body. Cross your right ankle just above your left knee. Your right knee will be bent and resting out to the side.
Bend your left knee back in toward your body. This will bring you into the position pictured in the photo. Your hands will be back behind your hips.
To increase the intensity of the stretch, slide your buttocks a little closer to the left foot, and lean your chest closer to the right shin. By compacting the body, you will feel a greater stretch around the outside of the hip, thigh, and buttocks.
Avoid rounding your shoulders too much, as you want to keep your chest as open as possible to avoid slipping into poor posture.
It is important to take long, deep breaths in and out as you hold this or any stretch. By keeping a steady flow of oxygen to the body, you will allow the tight muscles to relax, and your body will be able to deal with the feeling of tension far easier than if you don’t focus on your breath.
Hold the stretch on each side between 30 seconds and 1 minute. Then repeat both sides again. Try to allow your body to release in the position as opposed to holding your body rigid.
Emma-Kate Stampton is a personal trainer and Pilates teacher trainer. She is based in Brisbane, Australia.
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