You’re halfway there! We will continue to work our way down the body to the legs. Part 3 is all about the quads and hip flexors. This is a very important part of the eagle. If you do not stretch your legs, you will risk pulling a very sensitive muscle due to the amount of active flexibility involved. Like the back, I recommend doing these stretches every other day or every few days. Also remember not to push too hard when doing these and drink lots of water!
*As always, before stretching, make sure your body is very warm! – Pants recommended!*
1st set – Lunge with shoulders upright. Back leg should be straight. Front knee should track over the ankle. Gently press your hips to the ground, continuing to squeeze that knee straight.
2nd set – Tuck the foot under and press back in to the lunge. This time you will want to keep the top of your foot on the ground. Maintain all the same body positions as the 1st lunge set. This allows for active stretching in the hip flexor. As hard as it is, do not let that back knee bend!
3rd set – Place that knee on the ground and keep your hands on the front knee. Press in to that front knew with your hands and you arch back. As you do this, you will want to think of scooping those hips down and forward. This will help to deepen the stretch and maintain balance and you arch.
4th set – Sit your shoulders back up. Twist towards your front leg and place your hands on the opposite things. Allow yourself to twist and arch as you continue to drive those hips down and forward.
While stretching the legs, we cannot forget about those thighs! Use a matt for support on the knees. Place your knee, shin, and foot against the wall completely. You will then back up until you are sitting upright. The goal is to get your back flat against the wall.
Legs feel great? Are you ready for the final step? Stay tuned and happy Stretching!