Dynamic stretches, during which you smoothly move your joints through a range of motion, are ideally done before physical activity. Stretching in this way before exercising warms up and relaxes your muscles, resulting in greater flexibility and functionality, and less chance of injury. The scorpion stretch, for instance, can be incorporated in your pre-workout warm-up. When done correctly, this stretch improves the range of motion in your lower back, obliques and hips.
Lie on your stomach on the floor, extend your arms out to your sides in a T position or slightly higher in a Y position and flex your feet, placing your toes on the floor.
Align your neck with your spine, bend your right knee and raise your right leg up so your right hip and quadriceps lift off the floor and your right butt cheek contracts.
Reach your right leg across your body, roll onto the side of your left hip, leg and foot, and place your right heel on the ground as close as you can to your left elbow. Rotate your lower back, but keep your torso and shoulders on the floor during the motion. Pause for two seconds in this position.
Reverse the motion and return your leg to the beginning position. Repeat the stretch with your other leg, and continue alternating your legs until you complete five to 10 repetitions on each side.
Tips & Warnings
- If you're new to this stretch and not yet able to place your heel on the floor, rotate as far as you comfortably can. As you get more flexible, gradually move your heel closer to the floor.
- Warm-up with 10 minutes of light cardio before doing the scorpion stretch.
- Consult a doctor before starting a stretching routine, especially if you have a health condition or injury.
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