All of the Basic Stretches

November 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm Leave a comment

Basic Stretches

Flexibility is a key to fitness. Stretch all major muscle groups at least two to three times per week after a 5- to 10-minute warmup. Stretch just to the point of a gentle tug. If you have back, joint, or other health problems, talk to your doctor first.

PRONE ON ELBOWS

Lie on your stomach with your feet together. Rest on your forearms with your elbows directly under your shoulders. Relax lower back and abdomen into floor. Hold for 30-60 seconds or until muscles feel looser. Repeat on opposite side.
SUPINE LUMBAR ROTATION

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Keeping your knees together and your shoulders against the floor, roll your knees to one side until you feel a stretch in your back or hip. Hold for 30-60 seconds or until muscles feel looser.
KNEES TO CHEST

Lie on your back. Bend your knees, and lift your feet off the floor. Grasp your knees with your arms and pull your knees toward your chest. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat three to five times.
CAT AND CAMEL
Begin on your hands and knees. Round your back by contracting your abdominals and tucking your pelvis. Then allow your back to sag toward the floor as you lift your chest forward. Hold briefly. Repeat three to five times.
CERVICAL SIDE BENDS

Tilt your head gently toward one shoulder, keeping your shoulders level and your face pointed straight ahead. Hold for five seconds, then tilt your head toward the other shoulder and hold for five seconds. Repeat five times on each side.

SHOULDER CIRCLES

In a smooth, continuous motion, make a circle with your shoulders: Raise them up toward your ears, pull them together behind you, lower them to a resting position, then roll them forward. Repeat 10 times.

WRIST FLEXOR

Extend your right arm in front of you, palm down, elbow straight. Point your fingertips toward the floor by bending at the wrist. Using your left hand, pull your right palm toward you gently. Hold for 20 seconds; repeat three to five times with each arm.

WRIST EXTENSOR

Extend your right arm in front of you with your palm up and your elbow straight. Point your fingertips toward the floor by bending at the wrist. Using your left hand, pull the back of your right hand toward you gently. Hold for 20 seconds; repeat three to five times with each arm.

TRICEPS STRETCH

Place your right hand behind your head, palm facing your head. With your left hand, grasp your right elbow and pull downward until you feel a stretch in the back of your right arm. Hold for 20 seconds; repeat three to five times with each arm.

ONE-ARM PECTORALIS STRETCH

Stand against an immobile structure like a wall or a tree. While facing the wall, raise your right hand out to your side at chest height, palm against the wall. Turn your body toward the left, away from the wall and your extended arm, until you feel a stretch. Hold for 20 seconds; repeat three to five times with each arm.

PIRIFORMIS STRETCH

Lie on your back. Bend your left knee and lift it halfway to your chest. Grasp your knee with your right hand and pull it toward your right shoulder, keeping both buttocks against the floor. Hold for 20 seconds; repeat three to five times with each leg.

GROIN (ADDUCTORS) STRETCH

Sitting with your back straight, bring the soles of your feet together. Let your knees lower toward the floor. Hold for 30-60 seconds or until muscles feel looser.

 

STANDING QUADRICEPS STRETCH

Steady yourself with one hand. With the other, grab outside leg at the ankle, keeping body straight from knee to hip. Gently pull foot up and towards the buttocks until you feel a stretch along the front of thigh. Thigh should be pulled straight back and not drift to outside. Hold 20-30 seconds. For variation, grab opposite ankle (i.e., grab right ankle with left hand). Do two to three repetitions per leg.

CALF STRETCH

Face a solid structure such as a wall with your right foot ahead of your left, toes straight ahead. Bend your right knee, press your hips forward, and lean into the wall. Keep both heels down, your left leg straight, and your right knee over your ankle. Hold for 20 seconds; repeat three to five times with each leg.

ACHILLES STRETCH

Face the wall with your right foot ahead of your left, toes straight ahead. Bend both knees, press your hips forward, and lean into the wall. Keep both heels down and both knees in line with your feet. Hold for 20 seconds; repeat three to five times with each leg.

 

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