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How to Get a Figure Skater's Flexibility

from upwave.com via CNN

Even if your toes seem miles away when you reach down to touch them, you can still aim to become as limber as Olympic figure-skating champ Gracie Gold.

OK, maybe that's a stretch ... but improved flexibility is just as important for you as it is for her. Staying loose increases range of motion, prevents injuries and reduces muscle tension from inactivity (like the kind that occurs when you're hunched over your desk all day). According to U.S. Figure Skating's official handbook, stretching can also delay the onset of muscle fatigue.

Keep in mind, however, that stretching one muscle at a time isn't the best way to go. "If you're focused on one muscle group and don't think about the adjacent muscle groups, you're more susceptible to injury," says figure-skating champion Angela Smith, a Delaware-based orthopedic surgeon and past president of the American College of Sports Medicine.

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