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Move of the month: Opposite arm and leg raise
- By Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
This month’s exercise targets your core, strengthening muscles of the abdomen, lower back, front of the hip (called hip flexors), and spine. A strong core supports heart health by helping you stay active, as many popular sports such as cycling, golf, tennis, and swimming depend on a stable, flexible core.
Starting position: Kneel on all fours with your hands and knees directly aligned under your shoulders and hips. Keep your head and spine neutral.
Movement: Extend your left leg off the floor behind you while reaching out in front of you with your right arm. Keeping your hips and shoulders squared, try to bring the extended leg and arm parallel to the floor. Hold. Return to the starting position, then repeat with your right leg and left arm. This is one rep. Aim for eight to 10 reps. Rest for 30 to 90 seconds, then do one or two additional sets.
Tips and techniques:
- Keep your shoulders and hips squared to maintain alignment throughout.
- Keep your head and spine neutral.
- Think of pulling your hand and leg in opposite directions, lengthening your torso.
Photos by Thomas MacDonald
About the Author
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
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No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
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