Source: Best Health Magazine, Jan/Feb 2010; Illustration by Kagan McCleod
For runners and walkers, stretching the gluteus maximus (butt muscles) improves flexibility and can help prevent injuries. Jari Love, a Calgary-based trainer and the host of workout DVD Get Extremely Ripped! 1000, says not stretching the muscles around her hip joint led to piriformis syndrome, ending her competitive running career. She offers Best Health readers this move. You can do it after an exercise warm-up, and daily, whether at home or at your workplace.
Sit on a chair; bring one ankle up onto the knee of your other leg. Lean forward, keeping your back straight, and you should immediately feel the stretch in the gluteus maximus. Hold for 16 seconds. Love says: ‘At that point, the muscles start to relax and you are able to go deeper into the stretch.’ Continue forward as far as you can comfortably go, pushing gently on the top knee with your hand. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
This article was originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!