Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Strong Legs with a Leaning Dragon

 This week we are working our legs.  This is a strength-building exercise so make sure to add in some cardiovascular exercises as well.

Leaning Dragon 
Begin with your feet wide apart.  The lower you are going to go, the wider apart your legs need to be.  Turn your left foot to the left and kick out your right heel (so your right toes are pointing slightly to the left).  Pull your belly in to support your lower back, lift up your chest, and roll your shoulders down and back.  To get the arms involved, lift them up to your sides at shoulder level, keeping them straight and extending out.  Maintain this throughout the exercise.
Utilizing your left quadricep, hamstring, and glute, bent the left knee.  Your goal is to get the left thigh parallel to the ground.  Make sure to keep your knee over your ankle!  Do NOT let your knee go past the toes or lean to the inside or outside as this will hurt the join.  If you feel this in your knee joint, you are doing it incorrectly and you need to come up and adjust your position (also try not going down as low).  Instead, this exercise should make you entire left thigh and glute burn (in a good way)! 

To activate your right leg, pull your quad and hamstring muscles in toward the bone, extending through the inner thigh, down your calf, and out your right heel.  In addition, think of pressing your right hip/groin down into the ground and toward your left foot.
This is your Leaning Dragon Stance!  If possible, you are going to press up to standing with your feet together.  To do this, press through your left thigh all the way through you left heel, pull with the right side of your core, and with an explosive exhale press all the way up, drawing your left foot in to your right. 

Now repeat on the other side.  Try to hold each Leaning Dragon Stance for at least 15-30 seconds, alternating sides.  Do 2-3 sets with 5-10 rounds of Leaning Dragon Stances in each set.

Don't forget to check out all the great Earth Day ideas and tips below (in the next blog)!!!!

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