Simple Stretching Exercises
The following stretches are great for lengthening fatigued, tense muscles. The two upper-body stretches are great for opening up the chest, this is ideal if you have been sitting at a desk for a long period of time. On the first Chest Stretch, the wrist is also being slightly stretched. If this is uncomfortable, turn your hand round so that your fingertips point to the ceiling. In the Deep Chest and Back Stretch, slightly bend your knees if your legs are stretched beyond the comfort zone. When performing the gluteals stretch, be sure to keep your bottom on the floor or you will not stretch enough.
1. Chest Stretch:
This feel good stretch is great for relieving tightness in the chest and uses the wall for support. It can be done almost anywhere to relieve tightness in the chest.
Purpose: To stretch the chest.
Target Muscles: Stretch twice, hold for 30 seconds each.
i. Stand sideways to a wall. Extend one arm and place your hand flat on it. Keep your hand in line with your chest and your feet in line with your hips. Draw in your abdominals, your spine stay in neutral.
ii. Now turn your hips away from the wall, so that you feel a stretch in your chest. Relax your shoulders and enjoy the stretch. Change sides and repeat the movement.
- Keep your spine in neutral
- Feel the stretch in your chest
- Relax your shoulders.
2. Gluteals Stretch:
This stretch is reasonably easy to do and promotes a greater range of movement in the lower body. It is also a valuable stretch to do before many different sports that involve a lot of lower body work.
Purpose: To stretch the lower body
Target Muscles: Gluteals
Repetitions: Stretch twice, hold for 30 seconds each
i. Sit on the floor and position one leg in front of the other. Relax your arms in front of you. Lengthen up through the spine, creating space between the vertebrae. Don't worry if your knees don't fall to the floor, just relax and let the knees fall into a natural position.
ii. Drop your chin towards your chest and curl down the spine while pushing the arms forward and keeping your buttocks on the floor. Curl up again, switch the position of the legs and repeat on the other side. Do not collapse into the movement, keep the abdominals pulled in throughout.
- Keep your buttocks on the floor
- Replace the spine bone by bone
- Create length between the vertebrae.
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