This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Flexibility training helps prevent injury and improves your ability to build strength and endurance. The scorpion stretch is an excellent all-over body stretch that lengthens and strengthens your sides, legs, and lower back.
Lie face down on the floor on a gym mat with your legs together and your arms held out perpendicular to your sides (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, begin to lift your left foot up behind you and over your body, as if you are trying to touch it to your right hand. Allow your left hip to lift off the floor, but keep your palms and your right leg down on the mat. You should feel the stretch in the front of your left hip, along the sides of your torso, and in the front of your left leg (see Photo 2).
- Continue to lift your left leg, and then, after it passes over your right leg, bend your left knee and attempt to touch your left foot to the mat as close as you can to your right hand (see Photo 3).
- After you have touched your left foot to the mat, reverse the motion and bring your left leg back to starting position (see Photos 4 and 5).
- Switch legs and repeat the exercise with your right leg. Alternate between placing your left foot up and towards your right hand and your right foot up towards your left hand. You should be able to move back and forth between legs without stopping.