Spinal rotation for back and buttocks

A traditional stretch exists to stretch your buttocks, but by adding a spinal rotation to this buttocks stretch, you can stretch your back and buttocks at the same time. The two-in-one stretch can save you time and stretch your muscles more functionally.

A normal function of your daily routine — like bending down and reaching across to pick something up — requires the muscles of your hip to stretch at the same time as the lats on the other side of your back. Stretching this area keeps you flexible.

To do this stretch, follow these steps:

1. Stand up tall with your right foot and right shoulder next to a chair, wall, fence, or other supportive surface for balance.

2. Lift your left foot and place your left ankle on the top of your right thigh.

3. Inhale and as you exhale, bend your right knee and hinge or bend forward at your hips slightly so your hips move backward, similar to a squat (see Figure 5-7a for an example).

4. To deepen the stretch, grab hold of the chair or other supportive surface with both hands (see Figure 5-7b).

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

6. Repeat the steps on the other side.

Figure 5-7:

Spinal rotation for the back and buttocks.

Figure 5-7:

Spinal rotation for the back and buttocks.

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

i Do breathe regularly throughout the stretch.

i Do tilt your pelvis back to feel a deeper stretch in your buttocks.

i Don't let your knee jut forward; it should stay directly above your ankle. Feel your weight mostly in your heel, not in your toes or the ball of your foot.

i Don't bounce or force the stretch.

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