The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Leg Stretch that Strengthens Arms

Readers have e-mailed for more upper body strengtheners.

Increasing upper body strength helps many things. The post Quick and Fun Arm and Body Strengthener listed several benefits to your health and daily activities, and gave a quick, fun upper body strengthener that needs no weights or equipment, no trip to the gym, can be done in the home or office, and improves balance at the same time. It is not as hard as it looks.

Consult the post link and exercise your brains and common sense first:

  1. Crouch down in front of a wall (drawing 1).
  2. Put one foot up high on the wall (drawing 2).
  3. Raise the other so that both feet are on the wall (drawing 3) to produce a quick and easy to do handstand.
  4. Hold yourself steady. Relax and breathe.
  5. The above link explained how to use this easy handstand to do various other exercises to progressively strengthen.

To add an effective leg stretch:

  1. While holding the wall handstand, gently, carefully, lower one foot on the wall, then lift the other foot far away from the wall
  2. Open legs overhead into a wide split (drawing at left)
  3. Hold, breathe, relax, enjoy
  4. Switch legs to stretch the other side.

This stretch feels great and is fun to do. As far as I have been able to determine, it is good for the shoulder (as long as you don't fall on it or do something not intended in this stretch).

Hold weight on your hand and forearm muscles instead of only mashing your wrists back to keep this move a good strengthen for the wrist, which is often needed to prevent wrist pain.
This fun exercise improves balance and is effective to improve your ability to hold body positioning steady - two important skills for health. Use your muscles to hold your torso straight, without letting it sag and sway.

Have fun and develop fun healthy movement with this combination stretch, balance exercise, and strengthener. This stretch and others for all ability levels is in the book Stretching Smarter Stretching Healthier.

Drawings copyright by Jolie
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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.