Multi-Group Stretches

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,506
    Fitness expert Margie Weiss demonstrates some general multi-group stretches.

    Margie Weiss

    Margie Weiss has been in the fitness industry all of her life, having been a national gymnast as a child, and mother/trainer to three international athletes. Owner-coach of MG Gymnastics, her team produced international stars for 15 years. Former owner of 2 Gold's Gym franchises, Margie is also a certified personal trainer, specializing in youth sports conditioning. She has trained international athletes, including her children. Her son, Michael, is a 2-time US Olympic figure skater and 3-time US National Champion. Currently, she is GGX (Group exercise director & instructor) for 3 Gold's Gyms, where one of her programs boasts 500 classes per month; she supervises 175 instructors. Having published many articles in the fitness field, she enjoys seeing progress in each of her participants. But the things that makes her most proud of the lives she has affected are her 5 grandchildren, all of whom live very close. Seeing their smiles makes every day worth smiling about!

    Margie Weiss: My name is Margie Weiss and this is general stretching. The motions that we are going to do right now, a multi-group, it stretch a lot of different muscles, all within one kind of smooth transitional workout. We are going to take one leg, and lift it straight in the air. Now, if you are not super flexible, you are going to bend your bottom leg. Top leg is going to be fairly straight, pointing the toe is a little bit easier, hooking the toe is a little bit harder, you can decide what you want to do there.

    What we are going to do at this point, is trying to get the hands slightly behind the calf, as you breathe, you are going to gently bring that leg down towards the face. Now, notice over here, Jeremy it was before, is an athlete, and so she has a little bit more flexibility than the normal person. Dont expect that to occur for you at first. This is more normal and its not bad. If your foot is back in here, thats kind of bad, but if you can get it pass vertical, you are on your way. Obviously, the farther down you get, the more you are stretching your hamstring, which is the muscle in the back of the leg tends to bind.

    What we are going to then is just bend the leg just a little bit and angle it out to the side in the letter Y'. If you are an athlete and you can handle a straight leg, you can do that. Hips are to the ceiling, knees after the side, its the letter V or the letter Y', you can have the foot near the ear or you can have it more to the side, straight out, but you want you bellybutton and your shoulders and hips to the ceiling.

    About 20 seconds in each of those positions, then you are going to bend that top leg, bring it across your body and take your knee to the side. We are going to take a hand and put it on the outside of the foot, trying to see the side of the foot, not the base of the foot, because you want a flat hand, not hurt that joint. Take your near hand, put it right in the front of your knee, you are pressing your knee away and you are pulling your foot towards your face, as if you are going to kiss your foot.

    Once you get it to as far around torque as you can, you are going to gently press it down towards the ground. Just as far as you can go, minor discomfort, hold that stretch, breathe. We got one more thing where we going to come across. It feels like a violin bow, where you are taking your foot across your body, trying not to lift your hips too much. So, you are not going to have much motion as you go across, but your are going to really feel it deep into the glute, your glute is your rear end muscle, if your foot it higher, you feel at one place, if your foot is a little bit low, you feel it at different place and you can move around and see where you need the stretch. From there we are going to just relax, we are going to bend the foot, put it on the ground, drop the knee to the floor. We are going to reach our hand back and look the opposite direction of the knee. Take in a deep breath, you are going to release the breath, what that does is allow the fluids to go through the backbone, release it all the way down to your hips, and just let it relax, you are getting that backbone, and Jeremy is doing it to the right side, Lesley is doing it to the left side. You want to do it to both sides, to keep it balanced.

    As they come up, they are going to tuck the knee into the chest, grab a hold of it and roll up safely. So, that they can come up to a sitting position and then the roll the shoulders a little bit to shake it out.