Got a minute to stretch and strengthen?

Time is in low supply so when I find an exercise that can do multiple things at once, I want to share it.

In today’s video article, Wendy Krauss Talis is going to show you a great exercise that stretches the hips and lower back, while at the same time strengthens the arms and shoulders. It is the arm action of pulling and holding that strengthens the arms and shoulders, while also stretching the hips. And a nice side twist opens up the lower back.

Loss of strength can sneak up on you, and you know what that means… loss of independence can be around the corner. The little things, like taking a few minutes a day to do one good strengthening exercise can make all the difference.

Here’s how to get started…

Begin seated and the lie down on your back. Have some props ready, in case you need them. These might include a strap or towel and a yoga block, book or pillow for support and assistance.

While on your back, pull your knees in and hug them with both arms. Pull them close to you, being sure to keep your shoulder down and on the floor.

Release the hug a bit, straighten your left leg and pull your right knee back in toward the chest. Now straighten the right leg upward, pressing the heel up toward the ceiling.

Raise your shoulders up a little bit. For this we use a strap or a long towel to assist. Put the strap around the foot, hold with both hands and pull your shoulders off the ground.

If you don’t want to use the strap, simply grab behind your calf and pull your shoulders off the ground. Keep your left heel on the floor.

As you lower your shoulders back to the floor, bend both of your right knees. Place your right ankle over the left knee.

Press your knee away to open your hips and hold for 30 seconds or a minute.

Raise your left foot off the floor. Thread your right arm between your legs, left arm outside, and clasp your hands over your left shin. (See video for visual).

Inhale deeply. As you exhale, hug your knees in and press your shoulders down. Hold for as many breaths as you like, allowing the pose the gentle stretch and open your hips.

Lower your left foot to the floor and place the sole of your right foot on your left thigh. Left hand grabs right knee and your right arm out to your side.

Inhale, and as you exhale press both knees down and over to the left. Try to relax and allow you lower back and hips to open up.

Roll on to your back, pull your knees in, keep your shoulders down and rock side to side to relax.

Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.

Do this once a day, it takes only a few minutes. Or try for several times a week and in a short time you will feel looser and more open in the hips and lower back, and your arms and shoulders will feel stronger and become firmer. Good luck!



Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.