By Karen Voight, Special to Tribune Newspapers
8:04 PM EDT, August 22, 2012
Here's an excellent way to stretch the muscles in back of your legs and your hips. Use a strap to help you maintain a straight spine, and if you have sensitive knees or tight hips, place your foot against your inner knee instead of your inner thigh.
1. Sitting on the floor, straighten your left leg in front of you. Bend your right knee, placing the sole of your foot against your left inner thigh or knee. Holding the ends of a strap with each hand, wrap the strap behind your left foot. Inhale, lift your chest and lengthen your spine.
2. On an exhalation, keep your spine long as you lean forward from your hips. Stop and hold once you feel the stretch in the back of your left leg and right hip. Be sure to flex both feet. As your muscles release, bend forward a little more and hold for 30 seconds. To come up, let go of the strap, walk your hands back toward your hips, then lift your torso up. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.
Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Full Body Stretch" and "Ballet BodySculpt."
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