Mermaid Stretch

Lengthen tight muscles with this mystical-sounding stretch

Mermaid Stretch

Source: Best Health, October 2010; Illustration by Kagan McLeod

This move’s name may sound mystical, but the Mermaid Stretch tackles the reality of tight muscles from bad posture and sitting at a desk all day. Do it on both sides to lengthen the oblique muscles, which run along the sides of your torso.


Sit on the floor with your knees bent underneath you to your left. With your left hand, hold on to your ankles. Raise your right arm and inhale. Extend and reach that arm over your head, and exhale as you feel the stretch along the right side of your torso. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat twice; switch sides and do three reps.

This article was originally appeared in the October 2010 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!