Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: crossed leg side reachers.
Scorpion stretch and happy baby pose are brilliant ways to ease the stiffness that comes from working a desk job. But easing back pain doesn’t have to involve precarious positions, as proved by crossed leg side reachers.
The stretch gets deep muscles into the muscles in lower back and obliques, while also keeping you grounded and calm. Here’s how to do it.
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What are crossed leg side reachers?
A crossed leg side reacher is done seated, taking one arm over head and reaching it to the other side.
This exercise is great because it:
It stretches the back: pushing your hips to the floor while the arm comes over head creates space through the lower back and obliques.
It can reduce pain: by losing commonly tight muscles.
It is good for all ability levels: the stretch can feel intense, but by staying seated you have a stable base that offers support to those who are new to yoga.
What muscles are worked in crossed leg side reachers?
It’s a full body exercise, but mainly targets:
- Low back
- Hip flexors
- Hip abductors
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How to do crossed leg side reachers
- Begin in a crossed-legged position on the floor. Open your chest and pull your belly button to your spine to engage your core.
- Place your right hand on the floor next to your quad.
- Lift your left hand up into the sky and begin to reach it over your head. Keep your left glute on the floor, so you’re not lifting through your hips, and lean your head and shoulders over to the right.
- Let your right elbow come closer to the floor, placing your forearm on the ground if you can.
- Come back up to the centre and repeat on the other side.
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