How to get hip to muscle stretches

STAYING FIT

October 09, 1990|By Judi Sheppard Missett | Judi Sheppard Missett,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Most people don't high-jump, do hurdles or high-kicks, but they do climb stairs and bend over to pick up objects.

These day-to-day moves require the muscles of the back of the hip to lengthen as the muscles of the front of the hip contract to bring the leg up.

The following exercise stretches the muscle across the front of the hip, commonly called the hip flexor, and will help to increase flexibility.

*Lie on your back with one leg straight on the floor; tuck the other knee toward your chest and hold it in place with your hands.

*Keep the leg on the floor completely straight. Hold the stretch 20-30 seconds.

Before switching sides, you can relax or bend the leg on the floor while you gently pull the tucked leg closer to your chest. This will stretch the muscles along the back of the hip, or the gluteus maximus.

Reverse the exercise for the other leg. Repeat as desired.

*Ms. Missett is founder and chief executive officer of Jazzercise, an international aerobic-dance instruction company.

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