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3 Stretches That Really Loosen You Up Feeling tight? Bend your way to leaner, more relaxed muscles with these easy moves.

Feeling tight? Bend your way to leaner, more relaxed muscles with these easy moves.

figure11. Figure 4

Stretches hips, glutes
Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on floor. Cross right leg over left, resting right ankle on left thigh. Reach forward to link fingers behind left hamstring. Gently hug leg toward belly (as shown). Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

AM I DOING IT RIGHT? You should feel a stretch in your hips and glutes and the top leg’s hamstring. If not, press your elbow into the top leg’s inner thigh to open your knee wider.

2. Inchworm

Stretches glutes, hamstrings, calves

Stand with feet hip-width apart and gradually bend forward at waist until palms touch floor about 10 inches in front of feet. Walk hands out (as shown) to plank position (hands on floor, legs extended behind you, body in a straight line). Pause for a breath, then slowly walk hands back toward feet. Do 10 reps.

AM I DOING IT RIGHT? Legs should stay straight (don’t lock knees). Keep feet stationary, moving onto toes when you go into plank.

Beginner tip:If you can’t reach the floor, bend your knees.

3. Cat-Cow

Stretches back, chest, shoulders

Get on all fours, wrists in line with shoulders and knees in line with hips. Exhale, rounding spine (like a cat) and relaxing head toward floor (as shown). Inhale and transition into “cow”: Lift tailbone and chest toward ceiling; let belly sink and keep chin raised. Alternate between “cat” and “cow” for 10 reps.

AM I DOING IT RIGHT? Gently rocking from “cat” to “cow” should feel more therapeutic than strenuous.

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