I have found myself prescribing this exercise to many people as of late, as I have become quite a fan of it. It is great for strengthening the posterior side of the body (glutes, hamstrings, low back), while simultaneously stretching out the front of the body, predominantly the muscles of hip flexion (iliacus and psoas major), as well as the quadriceps and thorax. It also serves as a great way to practice/learn how to stabilize the center of the body during movement, as the hips should not sink or dip to the unsupported side while performing this exercise. Use the breath as your guide (inhaling deeply first into the belly pulling the breath down into the pelvis, then the sides of the abdomen, then the back, and lastly into the chest). Inhale and lift, exhale and release the foot back down. It is best to start with a small number of reps – 4 to 5 each side – and work up to being able to perform 10-12 quality, good, steady, reps on each side. Then you will be ready for the next step in your strengthening journey!
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