If you can't touch your toes from a standing position or experience lower back and hip stiffness from too much sitting, stretching your posterior chain in the back of you body can alleviate tension and stress. The posterior chain is a collection of muscles in the back of your body that runs from your calves, through your buttocks and into your back muscles and spine. Save time in your stretching routine by stretching multiple muscle groups together rather than stretching one at a time.
Kneel on the ground on your hands and knees. Put your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Curl your toes on the ground.
Exhale and lift your buttocks in the air, straightening your legs at the same time. Turn your feet slightly inward and press your heels to the ground. Hold this position for five deep breaths.
Return to the start position and repeat the exercise two or three more times.
Standing Toe Touch with Toe Raise
Put a yoga block between your legs and stand on top of a foot-long half foam roller on the balls of your feet and toes. Raise your arms over your head.
Exhale and bend forward to touch your toes. Bend your knees as much as needed to touch them. Straighten your knees slightly once you can touch your toes. Hold this position for three deep breaths.
Inhale and raise your body up to the starting position. Perform this exercise two to three more times.
Stand with your left foot about 2 feet in front of you with both feet pointing forward.
Exhale and bend your torso forward at your waist, sliding both hands down your left leg toward your foot. Hold this position for three deep breaths.
Exhale and raise your right arm overhead, turning your torso as you reach. Keep your legs straight as you hold this position for three deep breaths.
Raise your body up gradually to the starting position. Perform four to five reps per side.
- Human Kinetics: Hamstring and Posterior Chain Exercises
- Anatomy Trains; Thomas Myers
Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.