Stretching -- All about Increased Mobility.




"Stretching -- to a fitter, healthier physique"


Here's are the major areas that require stretching.

You must remember to stay relaxed throughout your stretching routine and breathe as you stretch. Before you start, pull your belly button towards your spine. Then breathe deeply as per normal.

Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and do a repetition of 3 sets in all.

Shoulder and Neck Stretch

(i) Raise your shoulders towards your ears until your neck and shoulders are crunched up. Release. Repeat 3 times.

(ii) Squeeze your shoulders towards your ears, then roll clockwise 2 times, then roll anti-clockwise. Do reps of 3.

Calf Stretch/Wall Lean

Lean against a wall with your forearms against the wall or tree. Arms must be chest high while you stand 2 to 3 feet away from the wall.

Next, place one foot 6 to 12 inches behind the other. Keep your back leg straight at all times with toes pointed forward. Bend your front knee and lean hips forwards towards to wall or tree.

Ensure that both feet are firmly grounded and pointing forward. Keep back straight, lean forward until you feel a stretch in your upper calf of your back leg. Hold for at least 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. Do a minimum set of 3.

Achilles Tendon and Lower Calf

To stretch the Achilles Tendon and Lower Calf, assume the same position as the Calf Stretch BUT bend both knees slightly. Make sure heels are still firmly on the floor. You will feel a stretch in the lower calves and achilles tendon. Again, hold for 30 seconds, release, then stretch again for a total of 3 reps.

Plantar Fascia Stretch/Achilles Tendon

Sit on the floor or exercise mat with right knee bent and foot firmly on the floor. With your hands, pull your toes towards the shin. Feel the stretch in your Achilles Tendon. Repeat with the left foot. Again, do a rep of 3.

Towel Calf Stretch

Sit with both legs extended in front of you, one foot apart. Use a towel and loop it around one foot. Pull gently on the towel until you feel a stretch in your calf muscles. Hold for 30 seconds. Then repeat on the other foot. Do reps of 3 for each foot. Try to go deeper into the stretch with each rep.

Ankles

Ankle Roll

Sit on a floor or an exercise mat, cross-legged. Hold right foot in your hands and rotate slowly for a total of 20 seconds, reverse direction. Repeat with the other ankle. Do reps of 3.

Back

Knee to Back

Lie on your back on an exercise mat with your legs outstretched. Bend your right knee and bring it to your chest, pulling with your hands towards your chest. You will feel a stretch in the back, hips and hamstrings. Do not raise your head and keep your lower back flat against the mat. Release right knee and repeat with left knee. Do a rep of 3.

Before finishing, bring both knees to your chest at the same time and hug your knees. Keep lower back flat. Then return feet to the ground.

Cat Pose


Kneel on a mat with hands, knees and toes firmly on the ground. Arch your back and drop your head. Arch as much as you can. Hold for 20 seconds. Then, do the opposite by raising your head and dipping your stomach in a "U" shape. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Child's Pose or Fold-Up Stretch

In yoga , this is typically called a Child's Pose.


Kneel on the floor, keep buttocks on your heels, stretch your arm in front of you on the floor until your chest rests on your thighs. Rest forehead on the floor if you can. You will feel a good stretch through your back. Hold for 30 seconds.


Lower Back, hip, groin and hamstring stretch

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your knees slightly bent, lean forward, then bend over until you touch your toes. Bend your knees further if you have to in this stretch especially if you cannot reach your toes.

You will feel a wonderful stretch in your lower back and hamstrings.

This is one of my fave stretches!

Quadriceps stretch

In this stretch, it is important to keep your body straight and upright at all times. Do not bend over as you will only injure yourself.

With your feet slightly apart, stand with your left hand outstretched against a wall as support. Bring your right foot up towards your buttocks. With your right hand, gently pull your foot towards your buttocks until you feel a stretch on your front thigh (quadriceps). Hold for 30 seconds.Repeat with the other foot. Again, do a rep of 3.






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