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Fitness

Flex Time: Stretching Guide to Loose and Limber Muscles

Follow our quick stretching guide to test your tight spots and loosen up your knots.
Lower back flexibility test Lower Back

Our spines are built to move, so static, everyday activities like driving and standing in line eventually pull on the discs in your lower back, and that's what hurts. Proper stretches keep you mobile and help prevent this ouch.

The Test
Sit on floor with back and head against wall, legs extended, knees pressing against floor, feet flexed. Rounding the spine, extend arms toward toes by hinging forward at hips.

Good (3 points): Hands can reach your ankles or feet.
Fair (2 points): Hands can reach your mid-shin or just above ankle.
Poor (1 point): Hands can reach only to area between your knee and mid-shin.

Downward Dog stretch Stretch It Out: Downward Dog

Start on floor on all fours, then tuck toes under and press hips back and up toward ceiling as you step feet back a few times to form an inverted V, balancing on palms and feet. Exhale, let head drop and release neck to lengthen spine. Hold for 8 to 10 breaths. Lower to knees and sit back on heels. Do 3 to 5 reps.

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