By Karen Voight, Special to Tribune Newspapers
7:44 PM EDT, September 5, 2012
Many of us get very tight in the hips from performing lunges, squats and other lower-body strengthening moves. To keep your hips flexible, remember to include stretches like this one at the end of your strength-training and cardio workouts.
1. Sit upright on a flat, padded surface or yoga mat. Straighten your right leg in front of you with your knee and toes facing the ceiling. Bend your left knee and place your left ankle above your right knee. Push out through both of your heels. Place your hands near your hips and sit tall. Allow your left knee to open out to the side.
2. Now bend your right knee and position your right ankle directly under your left knee. Continue to keep your hands near your hips as you lift your chest and lengthen your spine. Draw your shoulder blades down your back, away from your ears. Inhale and pull your abdominals to support your lower back; keep your feet flexed. On an exhalation, maintain a straight spine and lean forward from your hips. Once you feel a stretch in your buttock muscles, pause and breathe in this pose for 30 to 60 seconds. Come out of this position 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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