To make this easier, I thought I would post the stretches and exercises on their own stand apart posts. This is the handy dandy Anytime Stretch Routine. It is not all inclusive but just a sequence of stretches that I think flow well. I will show you some great stretches, sources and links in the days ahead so stress not and stretch on!
Oh, I need to add: generally it is beneficial to hold stretches for 30-60 seconds. I like to just go by how the muscles and stretch feel, as opposed to a time. So if my calf muscles feel tight I will spend however long it takes to relieve that tightness.
This means an area that is less tight will get less attention sometimes, but not get totally neglected. You have some flexibility to determine what is right for you on any given day. Did you catch my cute little play on words. I know, I am so stinkin' cute. Sigh. Cute now, object of hate later...I know it's true.
1. Standing Quadriceps: stretches front thigh-feel free to use wall or chair for balance. You can also catch foot/ankle with strap or belt if trouble reaching. Try not to lean or lock standing leg.
2. Standing Calf Stretch: Stretching back with same leg, plant heel on floor and lean slightly forward, keeping chest upright. Think of gently pressing the heel into floor and leaning forward to feel stretch in lower leg.
3. Modified Hamstring/Pyramid: Using wall for support bend forward from hips, keeping chest lifted, until you feel stretch in back of the front leg.
a. If safe proceed to chest to knee forward bend.
4. IT Stretch: This one is tricky and can be done a couple of ways-see what works- While standing cross left leg in front of right, bend to the left at waist- I like to use the wall sometimes, You should feel it at the hip and along side of leg.
5. Whoohoo, let's get physical, physical...
Reach to one side then the other. Nice and easy, right?
6. Forward Bend- You can modify this stretch by keeping knees bent - mine are actually softly bent here, also I have long arms, so don't feel you need to touch floor.
7. Overhead stretch- think of lifting chest to sky-as if a plane flew right over your head.
8. Executive Stretch: Support head with palms of hands, lift chest while opening upper body.
9. Chest Opener: Reach arms behind you,
clasping hands is optional- feel stretch in shoulders and chest
10. Neck: grasping left wrist with right hand, tilt head to right shoulder then slightly turn to adjust stretch. (feel left side)
a. Upper Back: Palms together, press shoulders away and adjust to feel stretch in upper back.
b. Pressing palms together we end in prayer!
Just the Exercises are HERE!