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Stretching Day 1

DYNAMIC WARMUP

1. Walking Jacks (or Jumping Jacks)

  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. As you lift both arms (arms should be straight) from your sides in a circular motion, step to the right with your right leg.
  3. Bring your arms down in the same circular motion while returning the right leg to its original position.
  4. Lift both arms again in a circular motion and step out to the left with your left leg.
  5. Repeat 10-15 times on each side for a total of 20-30 repetitions.

    2. Bird-Dog

    1. Begin on all fours in a table-top position with your knees directly under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
    2. Maintain a neutral spine by engaging your abdominal muscles and slightly draw your shoulder blades together.
    3. At the same time, slowly, and in a controlled manner, raise your right arm and your left leg as high as you can while keeping your shoulders and hips parallel to the floor.
    4. Hold the position for a few moments, and then return to the original table-top position.
    5. Then, at the same time, raise your left arm and your right leg as high as you can while keeping your shoulders and hips parallel to the floor.
    6. Perform the exercise on each side 10-15 times for a total of 20-30 repetitions.

      3. Air Squat to Calf Raise

      1. Stand upright with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart and your toes turned slightly out. If you can, engage your abdominal muscles and broaden your chest by gently pulling your shoulder blades in toward each other.
      2. Bend your knees slowly, pushing your glutes and hips out and down behind you as if you’re sitting down on a chair. Keep your head and shoulders aligned with your knees and your knees aligned with your ankles.
      3. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your knees aligned with your toes (without surpassing them) as you lower yourself as straight down as possible. Straighten your legs to come up and squeeze your glutes as you approach the starting position.
      4. Don’t stop at the starting position, rather when your legs are straight, lift up onto your tiptoes while also lifting your arms straight up above your head reaching for the ceiling.
      5. Come down onto your feet, and relax your arms before beginning again with the squat.
      6. Repeat the entire sequence for 20-30 reps.

        UPPER BODY STRETCHES

        1. Child's Pose

        Starting position: Get into a tabletop position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips.

        1. Push your butt back towards your feet as far as possible.
        2. Stretch your arms out on the floor in front of you until you feel like your spine is elongating.
        3. Peddle forward with your fingers to further elongate the spine to the extent that it feels good and comfortable.
        4. Hold the stretch for 60 seconds and deepen the stretch when you feel it is possible by further elongating your spine.

          2. Cat-Cow

          Starting position: Get into tabletop position on the floor, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips. The neck should begin neutrally, looking at the floor in front of you.

          1. As you lift your head, push your chest forward towards the floor, allow your belly to sink, 
pull your shoulder blades back, and your 
butt/tailbone up towards the ceiling. (Cow)
          2. Hold this pose for a few moments.
          3. Then, try to do the exact opposite and round your spine while releasing your head towards the floor, pulling your tailbone/butt towards the ground, and pulling your pubic bone forward. (Cat)
          4. Perform both movements in succession 
for 30 seconds, holding each pose for 
a few moments.

            3. Lying Full Body Extension

            Starting position: Lie on your back with your arms outstretched comfortably above your head.

            1. Reach your arms above your head and push through your fingertips to elongate your 
spine and torso.
            2. At the same time, stretch the lower half of 
your body through your heel, also with the 
aim of elongating your spine and torso.
            3. Hold for 30 seconds.

              4. Up & Down Neck Tilt

              Starting position: This can be done while 
you're seated or standing.

              1. Start with your head squarely over your shoulders and your back straight.
              2. Lower your chin toward your chest, hold for 3-5 seconds. Relax, and slowly lift your head back up.
              3. Tilt your chin up toward the ceiling and 
bring the base of your skull toward your back. 
Hold, and then alternate.
              4. Repeat both motions in succession, alternating every few seconds.

                5. Lateral Side to Side Neck Rotation

                Starting position: Stand, with your feet hip-width apart and arms down by your sides, 
or sit in a chair with your back straight.

                1. Gently turn your head directly to the right, 
as if you were trying to turn around and see what was behind you. Hold the stretch for 3-5 seconds, then return to the starting position.
                2. Perform the same movement on the other side, hold for 3-5 seconds, and then return to the starting position.
                3. Repeat both stretches in succession for 
a total of 30 seconds.

                  6. Elbow Opener

                  Starting position: Stand or sit comfortably 
with arms by your side.

                  1. Place your hands clasped together behind 
your head.
                  2. Pull your elbows apart as wide as comfortably possible, as if you were trying to touch 
your elbows together behind your back.
                  3. Hold for 30 seconds.

                  7. Standing Oblique Stretch

                  Starting position: Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, and with a slight bend in the knees.

                  1. Place your right hand on your hip, and raise your left arm straight up above your body.
                  2. Lean your torso towards the right, bending 
at the right side of the waist. Keep the knee 
on the leg you’re leaning towards slightly bent.
                  3. Try not to actually move your hips, but simply bend towards the right until you feel a stretch in your left obliques (the muscles on the left side of your abdomen).
                  4. Hold for 15 seconds.
                  5. Relax, and then repeat the same stretch 
on the other side.

                   

                  LOWER BODY STRETCHES

                  1. Frog Pose

                  Starting position: Lie face down, bend your 
knees about 90 degrees, and spread them 
as wide as you can.

                  1. Fold your hands under your forehead 
to relax the upper half of the body.
                  2. Keeping your knees bent, sink your hips towards the floor.
                  3. Hold for 60 seconds, and deepen the stretch by sinking your hips more towards the floor whenever possible.

                    2. Butterfly

                    Starting position: Sit on the ground and place 
the soles of your feet together in front of you. 
Let your knees bend out and fall to the ground 
as much as gravity allows them to.

                    1. Place your hands on your feet and pull your heels towards you.
                    2. Keep your back straight and your abs 
engaged as you let your knees relax and 
inch closer to the floor. You’ll feel the 
stretch in your groin muscles.
                    3. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.

                      3. Knee to Chest Stretch

                      Starting position: Lie on your back with your whole body relaxed on the floor and your legs outstretched. Make sure your whole back is touching the floor.

                      1. Bring one knee towards your chest and 
grab your knee with both hands to pull.
                      2. Pull until you feel the stretch in the top 
of your butt and lower back.
                      3. Hold for 15 seconds, gently let go and relax.
                      4. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.
                      5. Relax and perform the same stretch on 
the other leg.

                        4. Runner's Lunge

                        Starting position: Get into a push-up position with your hands and the balls of your feet on the floor, both shoulder-width apart, and a straight line running through your head down to your feet.

                        1. Step your right foot to a point just outside your right hand. You should feel a stretch in your hip and groin area on the left side.
                        2. If you feel comfortable and want a deeper stretch you can stretch more, lower your elbows closer to the floor instead of using your hands for stability.
                        3. Hold for 30 seconds.
                        4. Return to the starting position, and repeat with the left leg forward.

                          5. Lateral Squat

                          Starting position: Stand straight up with your 
feet very widely apart (double shoulder-width).

                          1. Shift your weight to your right leg, bend your right knee, and push your hips back as if you’re going to sit down. This results in a slight squat towards your right leg. Keep your chest, 
back, and spine straight without curling 
or bending forward.
                          2. Drop as low as possible towards your right 
foot while keeping your left leg straight and your left foot flat on the ground, with your toes on your left leg pointing directly in front of you.
                          3. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.
                          4. Relax, and repeat the same stretch on the 
other leg.

                            6. Lateral Squat w/ Toe Raise

                            Starting position: Stand straight up with your 
feet very widely apart (double shoulder-width).

                            1. Shift your weight to your right leg, bend your right knee, and push your hips back as if you’re going to sit down. This results in a slight squat towards your right leg.
                            2. Twist your left foot so that only your heel is on the ground and your toes are pointing straight up towards the ceiling.
                            3. Turn your body so that you’re facing your 
left leg.
                            4. Drop as low as possible towards your right foot while keeping your left leg straight with toes pointed to the ceiling. Find your balance in 
this position and place your hands on the 
floor as needed to stabilize.
                            5. If possible, reach towards your left foot 
while bending only at the hip/waist, 
curling your back as little as necessary.
                            6. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.
                            7. Relax and perform the same stretch on 
the other leg.

                              7. Standing Wall Calf Stretch

                              Starting position: Stand directly in front of 
a wall, about 1-2 feet away from it depending 
on how long your arms are.

                              1. Put your hands on the wall and slightly bend your knees.
                              2. Lift your left foot, and place it behind your body so that your right foot is in front of your left foot with reasonable distance between them.
                              3. Straighten your left leg completely, and keep the whole foot on the ground until you feel 
a comfortable stretch in your left calf.
                              4. Hold for 15 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.
                              5. Relax and perform the same stretch on 
the other leg.