The 9 Most Effective Ways to Get Your Best Body
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.
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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