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Stretch of the Week: Reclined Straight Leg Twist

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Our weekly stretches in April will focus on twists! Twisting through the middle of your body stretches the back muscles as well as the sides and front of your body. Twisting also helps the digestive process by stimulating the intestines.

For the first week of April, we will be performing the Reclined Straight Leg Twist. You will need a strap or belt to perform this stretch. This stretch is typically done on the floor, but can also be done on a bed if getting up and down from the floor is difficult. If you have mid or low back pain, please do not perform this week’s stretch.

How to perform:

  1. Lay on the floor (or bed) on your right side. Place the strap around your feet and then stretch your legs straight. Hold the strap ends in your right hand as shown in the top left photo marked “step 1.”
  1. Inhale and raise your left arm to the sky. As you exhale, reach the left shoulder, arm and hand toward the floor to twist and open the front body up to the sky as shown in the right top photo marked “step 2.” Keep ahold of the strap with your right hand, reaching toward your feet. Engage the legs and keep your feet as close together as possible. Draw your belly button to your spine to engage the abdominal muscles. This action will help you twist a little further. Lastly, turn the gaze to the left. Do not just hang out in this stretch as shown in the bottom photo marked “No,” as it’s not good for the back.

*Tip: if you are having difficulty reaching the left shoulder to the floor, place a rolled blanket or pillow behind the upper back for support.

  1. Stay here for at least two minutes. Then inhale, keep your abdominal muscles engaged and bring yourself back to the starting position. Roll to your other side to repeat.

Stretch of the Week: Reclined Straight Leg TwistInterested in learning more? Email me at

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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