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Video:Learn How to Properly Stretch your Torso

with Leslie Nesbitt

Learn how to properly stretch your torso before and after working out to ease tension and prevent injury.See Transcript

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Transcript:Learn How to Properly Stretch your Torso

Hi, I'm Leslie Nesbitt for About.com Health.

Today I want to show you a great stretch for the sides of the torso that you can do seated, and you definitely want to do this after your workout when your body is warmed up.

Positioning your Body for Torso Stretching


So we're going to take this leg and extend it to the side. Lift yourself up nice and tall so that your back and spine are tall and your abdominals are pulled in.

Stretching Torso Sides


Now we're going to take the same arm as the leg. Reach out with these 2 fingers and grip that toe. If you can't get that far, that's okay. Just slide your hand underneath your calve or even slide your hand underneath the knee.

Take the first 2 fingers and wrap them around your toe in a yogi grip. We're going to take this hand and just lightly touch the back of the head. Now, as much as you can, open up that chest and shoulder toward the ceiling. So right away you're going to feel a great stretch here along the hips and the ribs.

Advanced Torso Stretching


Breathing deeply, don't stop that airflow. Let's add 1 more element here. We're going to extend that arm up. The palm is facing down toward the outstretched foot. If you're able to, lift up and over. If you're a little more flexible you can probably touch the foot. If you're not so flexible just keep stretching, reaching tall and lengthening, increasing that stretch. Feels so great.

Recovery


Come out very slowly, then of course you want to change sides. Re-lengthen that spine, reaching out, finding the appropriate place for you. Take this hand and lightly touch the back of the head, opening up here. So picture a light in the center of the chest where the heart is and you want to shine that light on the ceiling.

Add the arm, curving the elbow over, and you want this arm to line up with this ear. Hold the position with deep breaths for about 15 to 20 seconds, approximately 5 long, deep breaths.

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