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Stretches for Flexibility

Torso Stretch
Improving and maintaining a flexible trunk (torso) is extremely important for people of all ages. If you've ever seen an elderly person (or someone with a back injury) bend down to pick up a piece of paper, you know what we mean. But the fact is, even young people need to stay limber, particularly if they are active in sports. These stretching exercises can help prevent injuries.

Here is what you need to do to stretch your torso:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed straight ahead.
  2. Keep your knees bent slightly.
  3. Place one hand on your hip for support while you extend your other arm up and over your head toward the ceiling.
  4. Now slowly bend at your waist to the side where your hand rests on your hip.
  5. Move slowly, gracefully, and continue to breathe.
  6. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.
  7. Repeat on the other side.

Pec Stretch
Here is what you need to do to stretch your pectoral muscles, the muscles of your chest that pull your arms forward:

  1. Stand up or sit on a bench and interlace your fingers behind your back.
  2. Lift your arms up behind you until you feel a stretch in the arms, shoulders, and chest.
  3. Keep your chest out and chin in.



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Excerpted from he Complete Idiot's Guide to Weight Training © 2003 by Deidre Johnson-Cane and Jonathan Cane. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide website or call 1-800-253-6476.


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