Heel to buttocks facedown

If your quads are stiff or sore after a workout, try this stretch as a cool-down to further stretch and relax your muscles.

To do this stretch, follow these steps:

1. Lie on the floor, facedown with both legs straight out behind your body and your left hand at your side.

2. Make a fist with your right hand and rest your forehead on your fist.

3. Bend your left knee and raise your heel toward your buttocks.

4. Reach back with your left hand and grab the top of your left foot and hold the foot in place (see Figure 7-10).

If you have difficulty reaching the top of your foot, grab the back of your heel, ankle, or even the hem of your pant leg. But don't pull down on your foot. Instead, just rest your foot in your hand as you focus on pressing your hip to the floor. This should keep the stretch in your quads, not in your knee joint.

Figure 7-10:

A good stretch for your quads.

Figure 7-10:

A good stretch for your quads.

5. Inhale and as you exhale squeeze your buttocks and gently press your hip toward the floor.

Avoid letting your left knee move out to the side as you reach for it with your left hand. Try to keep your knees as close together as you can; this position avoids misalignment, which can cause stress to your knee joint.

6. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds or four to five slow, deep breaths.

7. Repeat Steps 1 through 6 with your right leg.

A few do's and don'ts for this stretch:

i Do keep your head down and resting on your fist. i Do breathe to relax into the stretch. i Do keep your knees together and squeeze your buttocks. i Do focus on pressing your hip toward the floor. i Don't focus on bringing your foot to your buttocks.

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