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The 9 Most Effective Ways to Get Your Best Body

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Limber Up

Goal: Get more limber

Winning Strategy: Stretch the areas that need it most

Researcher: Mike Bracko, director of the Occupational Performance Institute, Calgary, Alberta

Your tightest muscles may not be the ones you use at the gym. In fact, according to Bracko, your best results will come from stretching chronically tight areas like the hamstrings, shoulders and pectorals -- especially for anyone who sits at a desk all day. To help reduce daily aches and pains, fit these four must-do stretches in throughout the day (even at work!). Hold each stretch for 10 to 20 seconds.

Pectorals: Clasp hands behind lower back and squeeze shoulder blades and elbows together; feel the stretch in the front of shoulders and the chest.

Hamstrings: Put one foot on a step and bend knee slightly, keeping weight on back leg. Keep back straight and bend forward at waist, stretching front hamstring. Repeat on opposite leg.

Upper Back: Stand with hands on hips. Keep your hips and legs stationary with head, neck, and shoulders neutral, and lean slowly backward. Do 5 times.

Hip flexors: Kneel with right leg forward, right knee bent 90 degrees and left knee on floor. Shift your weight forward, keeping your hips and torso vertical. Do 5 times; switch legs.

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