Move of the Week: Single Leg Stretch

July 16, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

The single leg stretch is great for challenging one to keep one's center stable while moving the legs. (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)
The single leg stretch is great for challenging one to keep one's center stable while moving the legs. (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)

Walking and running both require pelvic and back stability. Without sufficient stabilizing strength, one may find one’s back or hips aching and one’s balance insufficient for quality living.

This stability can be strengthened in various ways by targeting different body parts and functional movements. The single leg stretch is good for helping to strengthen one’s abdominal muscles and hip flexors and for proper tracking of the legs.

The single leg stretch is great for challenging one to keep one’s center stable while moving the legs.

Preparation

Lie on the back with feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Adjust shoulder blades so that they are lying flat on the floor. Take a few deep diaphragmatic breaths. On an exhalation, draw the navel in toward the floor and lift head, shoulders, and feet off the floor.

1. Place the right hand on right ankle, left hand on right knee, and keep the elbows lifted.

Exhale and extend the left leg straight in front of left hip socket and as close to the floor as possible without letting the back arch away from the floor.

2. Inhale and switch legs, but be sure to keep belly scooped inward.

Clasp left hand on left ankle and right hand on right knee.

Repeat 10 times.

Note: Breathe through the nose and keep mouth closed with the back of the tongue spreading out wide and toward the throat.