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Forward leg stretch

7. Stand facing a support such as the rail of a porch or a desktop or table. Place your right foot up on the support with the toes pointed up into the air. Stabilize your standing leg, pressing the foot down into the ground and lifting the front thigh muscles up into the hip. Stretch both arms overhead, interlock the fingers and turn the palms to the sky.

As your standing foot presses down into the ground, press your hands up. Relax your shoulders down towards your waist and lengthen the sides of your torso. Exhale and fold your torso forward, from the crease of the hip. Lengthen your spine.

Extend your arms toward your foot, place them on your leg or, if you can reach your foot, take hold of the toes and gently pull them back. Again, relax the shoulders down towards the waist and lengthen the torso.

Reach the chin towards the toes. Do not press into the knees. Make the calf muscle of the extended leg firm and lift the muscles of your upper thigh into the hip—this will help stretch the hamstring muscles of the back thigh. Breathe easily.

Stay in the stretch until you feel the muscles under the thigh begin to release. This exercise stretches the hamstring muscles, under the thigh, and the calf. Inhale and come up. Do exercise #8 and then repeat #7 and #8 to the left side.


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(c) 2007, Ellen Serber & Daniel Will-Harris, all rights reserved. No portion of this may be duplicated without express written permission. For permission, please email

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