Joanie Greggains shows us some stretching exercises using the "Cardio Barre." This is a great way to start your day or to warm up for a mild to moderate cardio workout. She introduces a portable ballet or cardio barre to use for balance and support. If you do not have a cardio barre, you can always use the back of a chair or bookcase. You hold on to the cardio barre facing forward and place your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent as you bend at the waist, keeping your back straight. Then you just pull down like you are trying to hang off the barre. This stretches your neck, back, midback, spine and legs. Do not let your head drop down as it puts too much pressure on the neck muscles. Next, you gently bend your right knee, then your left knee, alternating and shifting your weight from side to side. Be sure to keep your feet flat on the ground. Do a few of these, then push down with your shoulders, alternating them with your knee bends. Once you do this for a few minutes, then spread your feet a bit wider, still alternating bending your knees. Remember to not let your knee go past your foot. Next, you lift your toes as you bend away from the lifted toes. Do this a few times, then back to shifting back and forth between legs. Add touching your toe with your opposite hand as you bend your knee. This is a great stretch through the back. Alternate your toe touches a few times. You then can run in place briefly to finish up your warm up.
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