STRETCHES

Im­prove the health of your joints in just 10 min­utes with stretches from phys­i­cal ther­a­pist Karen Litzy.

Family Circle - - ON DUTY -

Knee hugs

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.

Cross-legged twist

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.

Kneel­ing stretches

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.

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