Improve the health of your joints in just 10 minutes with stretches from physical therapist Karen Litzy.
Lie on your back and bring both knees to your chest to give them a “hug,” grabbing the back of your thighs rather than the front of knees or shins. Hold for a few breaths, then stretch one leg straight out while continuing to hug the other knee to your chest. If you feel you have to arch your lower back to get the free leg straight down to the floor, keep the free leg bent. Switch sides and repeat.
Sit up tall in a crosslegged position. If this is difficult, sit on a folded blanket or towels to allow some extra movement in the hips. Place your left hand behind your left side and your right hand on your left knee. Twist to the left as far as is comfortable. Hold for a few breaths, then twist to the right. Return to the center and reach forward with both hands as far as is comfortable. Switch sides and repeat.
On a soft mat, kneel on your right knee with the left foot out in front. Shift your weight onto the left foot as if moving into a lunge to feel a stretch in the right quadriceps. Straighten out the left leg and shift weight back onto the right leg. Keeping your back as straight as possible, bend forward from the waist until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. Flow back and forth a few times, then switch sides.