Stretch it out!

Written by: Kayte Corrigan

Sometimes after class we need a little special attention on specific tight areas. There is always 10mins or more before each class at HIP. If you have a couple minutes after class you are welcome (and encouraged) to use the reformer to get in some extra stretches. Please ask your instructor for further explanation on any of the following. There are also foam rollers in the specialty room for you to use as well. Don’t be shy!

Stretching is an important part of working out. It increases blood flow and circulation as well as increasing flexibility and keeping your body even on both sides for good posture. Make sure to breathe through each stretch to get good blood flow to the muscle.

Stag – Use this stretch for hamstrings, groin and quadriceps. With two heavy springs, lay back, feet in straps. Extend the legs on a diagonal. Keeping the heels together, bend the knees into a froggy, but don’t let the knees come in past the hips. Extend the right leg out to the side then turn the left toe down the floor, letting it hang off the side of the machine. Bend the left leg deeper to increase the stretch in both legs. Stay for a few breaths and repeat on the other side.

Leg circles – A great hip opener. With 2 heavy springs lay back on the carriage with your feet in the straps. Legs extended above the hips, heels together laterally rotating from the hips. Lower the legs down to the diagonal. Exhale open your legs out to the sides, surrendering the weight of the legs to the straps as you circle both legs to close at the top to the ceiling. Repeat as needed and then reverse the direction of the circle.

Single thigh stretch – This is especially good for tight hip flexors occurring in people whose occupation keeps them at a desk. Start with the footbar one lower from the top forward with 2 heavy springs. Facing the footbar lunge with the right knee on the carriage, foot against the shoulder rest and the left with the ball of the foot on the foot bar, knee bent over the ankle. Sitting up straight, frame your foot with your hands on the footbar. Exhale and press back with the right foot against the shoulder block extending through the hip then extend the left leg pressing into the footbar. Inhale to bend the left leg in. Repeat as needed and switch to the other side.