Ankle to buttocks on your side

Give yourself a kick in the buttocks (literally) with this quad stretch. Okay, it's really not that hard. This stretch has you lying on your side, and contains two unique features: It's one of the most accessible quad stretches to get into, and after you're in it, proper form is easy to maintain. I recommend this stretch if you're new to stretching.

To do this stretch, follow these steps:

1. Start by lying on your right side with your knees bent close to your chest.

2. Rest your right arm comfortably in a bent position underneath your head (to support your head) — see Figure 7-9a.

3. Grab the top of your left foot and gently pull your ankle back toward your buttocks (see Figure 7-9b).

You should feel the stretch in the front of your thigh. If you squeeze your buttocks, you can increase the stretch, but don't let your hips roll back. Always keep your hips stacked on top of each other, and focus on bringing the knee back. Don't force your heel toward your buttocks, which can put undue pressure on your knee joint.

4. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and then repeat the stretch with your right leg and lying on your left side.

Figure 7-9:

Stretching your quads in a side-lying ankle to buttocks stretch.

Figure 7-9:

Stretching your quads in a side-lying ankle to buttocks stretch.

A few do's and don'ts for this stretch: i Do breathe as you hold the stretch.

i Do squeeze your buttocks and slightly tuck your pelvis under to deepen the stretch. i Do keep your bottom knee bent for balance. 1 Don't jam your heel toward your buttocks. 1 Don't hold your breath.

1 Don't lift the knee — try to keep your inner thighs touching each other.

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