Extended Wide Squat
Purpose of this stretch: I like to start with this relaxing stretch because it helps open both my hips at once as well as my lower back. I feel like when my hips or lower back are tight, the tightness just travels down my legs. When I lean my torso forward in this stretch, I like to focus on pressing my heels down to stretch the backs of my ankles and the bottom of my calves. I also love doing this while brushing my teeth before my early morning run.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Bend your knees, and lower your hips down toward the ground. If your heels don't touch the ground, roll up a towel or the back of your mat, and place it under your heels for support.
- Bring your palms together at your heart center, and firmly press your elbows against the inside of your knees. This will help to open your hips even further.
- After five breaths, release the hands to the floor and walk them away from your feet to increase the stretch in the hips and lower back. Press the heels down and hold for another five breaths.