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The one stretch you need to do for maximum flexibility

March 7, 2016

The Warrior I pose is a great stretch to increase your flexibility.

Maybe you’re reading this at your computer, hunched over a keyboard, kneading some muscles that always feel stuck.

An office doesn’t allow a lot of room to stretch, but experts say flexibility is key to long-term health.

We wanted to find out one stretch that could boost maximum flexibility — especially for anyone sitting for hours a day at a desk.

Yoga teacher Andrea Gilats recently wrote "Restoring Flexibility: A Gentle Yoga-Based Practice to Increase Mobility at Any Age." The book, with 200 step-by-step photos, aims to increase mobility for seniors. Within, Gilats encourages a 20-minute routine twice a week.

Her St. Paul, Minn.-based practice is called The Third Age, which refers to a time after midlife but before true old age.

For one move to maximize your flexibility, Gilats suggests doing one of yoga’s essential poses: Warrior I.

"Warrior I is a powerhouse flexibility move," she said. "It stretches both sides of our body from our waist all the way through our fingertips."

That mobilizes shoulder joints and sends energy throughout the body, she noted.

Especially for the cubicle-based, a Warrior I relaxes and lengthens the core’s psoas muscles, which she said run through the abdomen to upper thighs and become tight and creased while sitting at a desk.

Also counteracting effects of sitting, this move mobilizes the hip flexors.

"It lengthens our spine by inviting us to stand fully upright, rather than hunched over our computer," Gilats added.

To get into the pose, bend your knee, stacking it over the ankle. Make sure that hips are still facing forward, and check your top half to make sure it’s tall — no hunching forward.

Raise your arms overhead, with the arms about shoulder-width apart.

Gilats emphasized to maneuver into one Warrior I on both sides of the body. First, with the left foot back, then switch and put the left foot forward.

"You’ll feel a positive difference at the end of the day if you do Warrior I once an hour," she said.

 

 


Associated Press