Recently, I have given more attention to my flexibility. With my past injuries flaring up again, and going to see a new chiropractor and physiotherapist, I have been challenged to stretch every day. My injuries have caused certain muscles to work extra hard and thus causing pain to the rest of my body. Even if you are not currently in pain, and despite your level of fitness, stretching should be a big part of our lives. As we have talked about before, stretching can help improve flexibility, reduce tightness and reduce risk of injury.
There are plenty of ways to increase your flexibility and range of motion, regular exercise and stretching are just a few. Yoga or pilates can also be a pretty low impact and highly beneficial activity to start as well. Below are a few more stretches to help in your search for a more open and flexible you!
*These all can be done standing or sitting. Please take into consideration your balance, fitness level and comfort level with these stretches before starting. Don’t forget to breathe! These are meant to help you relax and help you accomplish daily tasks with more ease. If you are in pain, please stop. If it persists, please consult your doctor.
Side Bend and Reach
The back is such an important part of the body to stretch and take care of. Standing or sitting up tall, take your right hand and gently reach your arm up above your head and over to the opposite side, feeling a stretch in that right ride. Holding for 20-30 seconds, repeating as necessary.
Shoulder Crossover Stretch
Standing or sitting up tall at the edge of your chair, start with bringing your right arm across your chest, level with your shoulders. Hold the stretch while holding onto your upper or lower arm, not the elbow joint. This should create a light stretch in the front of the shoulder. Holding each side for 20-30 seconds, repeating as necessary.
This can be done standing or sitting. While standing, face the wall and place one foot in front of the other, bending the front knee and straightening the back. Lean into the wall as much as you need to, to feel the stretch. If you are sitting, begin at the edge of your chair and straighten one leg out, pulling those toes up towards the ceiling, feeling a slight stretch in the back of your hamstring and calf muscle. Hold this for 20-30 seconds, repeating multiple times per leg.
Seated Glute Stretch
While seated, sit up straight and cross your right leg over your left, creating a figure 4. Pushing your knee toward the floor, or leaning forward into the stretch can help create a deeper stretch. You should feel this in your glute or buttocks area, not your hip. Hold for 20-30 seconds, repeating on each side.
Try these out 3-4 times a week and see how things change for you in the next month!
Until next time,
Keep living your best life,