How to Do Stretches to Strengthen Legs & Back

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When doing stretches to strengthen the legs and back, you're going to want to experiment with a few key techniques. Do stretches to strengthen the legs and back with help from a certified yoga teacher and healer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Yoga Exercises
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Lola from Lola Yoga Studios, and we are here today to learn two stretches to strengthen the legs and the back. The first stretch that we are going to do, you'll bring your legs out straight. Make sure you are sitting long and strong from the back. Your back should be nice and flat. You are going to really strengthen those upper thighs by rolling the knees together. And then you are going to pull the toes forward really bringing them in and steeply as you can. Then hooking the thumbs together, inhaling deep. Exhaling, coming down. Grabbing the toes if you can and I'll show you a modification in a moment if you can't. Softening the elbows. Making sure you're staying long and strong through the back. It is very important to keep the back straight and the chin in. You don't want to sink in like this. You want to be nice and long and strong. Inhaling and then finding space as you exhale. Getting to move down. Find that place and hold that stretch. Inhale, exhale. Moving forward a little bit deeper. And then continuing the stretch going as low as is comfortable for you. Never allowing the head to sink down. The head should stay nice and straight, long and strong when you are pulling forward. You are really going to feel this stretch in the legs and the lower back. To end inhale, exhale and walk yourself up your legs. Now a modification for you if you can't get to those toes just yet is to bring the hands up underneath the knees. Again making sure the back is straight. Inhaling, bending forward. Or under the calves. Or under the ankles. Whatever it is that works best for you in doing the stretch. And now we are going to do our second exercise for strengthening the legs and the back. What we are going to do next is called a standing forward bend. Alright I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to turn to my side. And I have my feet slightly separated. You can if you feel more comfortable and more solid in the position you can bring the feet totally together. But I like it with my feet separated a little bit Then before I do anything else I really spread out my toes. Because this allows me to get a good center of gravity. I make sure that my pelvis is tucked under, my back is straight. My shoulder blades are rolled down, flat in my back. And my chin is level. I bring my hands up and I hook the thumbs together. On the inhale I begin to raise the arms up over my head. And as I do that I also begin to push out using my pelvis. When I'm coming forward I'm pushing from the glutes. I'm not using my lower back. It's very important to push from the pelvis. Stretching back as far as is comfortable for you. Inhaling, exhaling. And slowly coming down hinging from the hips. Dropping forward allowing the hands to come down. We could rest here on our fingertips. If you are limber enough you can bring your hands flat to the floor. And you just drop the head down and rest in this position. So taking a couple of deep breaths and exhaling you are going to come up on our fingertips. I'm going to soften my knees, bring my hands to my knees. And we'll slowly one vertebrae at a time roll up into a standing position. Thank you so much for joining us for those two exercises to strengthen and lengthen the back and the legs. We look forward to seeing you next time. This is Lola. Sadhana.


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