Starting Position: Assume a seated position with your legs folded in front of you. Sit upright (i.e., trunk vertical) with your head aligned with your spine and place your hands on the top of your feet.
Stiffen (“brace”) your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine, then gently exhale and slowly bend forward from your hips, lowering your elbows to rest against the inside of your thighs and push the thighs downward. Attempt to maintain a flat back position, avoid rounding your back towards the ceiling (i.e., move from the hips and not your low back) and keep you head aligned with your spine. This should create a stretch through your inner thighs.
Continue to press downward to the point of tension in the stretch, but do not bounce or push to a point of pain. Hold this position for 15 – 30 seconds, then relax by returning to your starting position and repeat 2-4 times. You may elect to grasp your ankles to hold this position.
Exercise Variation: This stretch can become more dynamic by performing slow, controlled movements to complete 1 set of 5 – 10 repetitions, holding the stretched position for 1 – 2 seconds.
To maximize the benefits of a stretch and reduce the potential for injury, it is often important to stretch only to the point of tension, avoid bounding, and control movement at other segments of the body.