May’s final stretch of the week is the Pigeon Stretch, performed on the Bosu® Ball for added stability and strength. This stretch (just like May’s other stretches) can also be performed without a Bosu® Ball.
The Pigeon Stretch will work the glute muscles (the muscles in the back of the hip), and will also require some core muscle engagement to perform on the Bosu® Ball. If you have knee or hip injuries, or difficulty getting up and down from the floor, please skip this week’s stretch.
How to perform:
- Set the Bosu® Ball with the flat side on the floor. Kneel behind it. Place hands on the top of it as shown in photo 1.
- Take your right leg and place it on top of the Bosu® Ball so that the outside of the shin is resting on the Bosu® (as shown in photo 2). Keep your right foot flexed to protect your knee. Your right foot should clear the front of the left thigh, but the closer the heel is to the thigh, the less intense the stretch. If you want more stretch, bring your foot closer to your left hand. Stretch your left leg out behind you, with the left foot, knee and hip all in the line. Don’t allow the left foot to turn inward! Press your belly button to your spine to engage your ab muscles to maintain your balance on the Bosu®. If you already feel an intense stretch then stay at this level.
- For more stretch, begin to lower the torso over the right leg as shown in photo 3. Keep your abs engaged and do not round your upper back. Lead with your chest to keep your back straight.
- For the deepest stretch, reach your hands to the floor as shown in photo 4. Keep your abs engaged so you don’t roll off the Bosu® as this is where you will build strength! Keep your back straight and gaze just slightly in front of your hands.
- Depending on your preferred stretch, stay in position 2, 3 or 4 for at least one full minute. To return to the starting position, press into your hands to raise up, and sneak your right leg back out to kneeling. Then switch sides!
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