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How do I stretch my abs?

Lay on your stomach and place your hands beneath your shoulders, palms flat on the ground. Keeping your hips on the ground and the tops of your feet in contact with the floor, extend your elbows and push upper body up. You should feel this stretch in your abdominal muscles. This is a yoga posture known as up dog. Those of you who have pets may have seen your dog perform this posture, hence its name. Another way to come into the stretch is to begin in a push up position and drop your knees to the ground. The tops of your feet should be in contact with the floor. Avoid twisting the foot to the inside or the outside of the leg as this puts the foot and ankle joint in a compromised position. Hold the stretch for three to five breaths and then slowly lower your upper body back to the ground. Repeat this exercise three times to stretch out the abdominal muscles. Avoid dropping your head back as this compromises the integrity of the spine. Keep your eyes forward and really press up through the front of the body to intensify the stretch. It is optimal to perform this stretch after dry land abdominal work.

Grab a stability ball and lay across it on your back, making sure to maintain contact with you feet and the ground. Slowly wrap your body around the ball as if you are going to perform a back bend and reach hands over your head or at sides as your comfort level will allow. As you get more flexible you will be able to reach with your hands and touch the ground but start where you are. As you feel the nice stretch of your entire core breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth and concentrate on the stretching of your abs. Hold for a minimum of 30 seconds and relax and make sure you roll forward slightly as you sit up slowly so you do not get a head rush. Repeat if neccessary or just because you love it!!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.