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Stretching Day 12

DYNAMIC WARMUP

1. Knee Hug

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keep your core tight and your spine straight throughout the following movements.
  3. Lift your right knee up to your chest as high 
as possible, then grab it with both hands and pull it towards your chest until you feel a stretch in the top of your butt.
  4. Hold for a few moments, and then return 
to a simple standing position.
  5. Repeat the motion with the left leg.
  6. Perform the movement on each leg 
10-15 times for a total of 20-30 repetitions.

 

2. Low Lunge w/ Elbow Twist

  1. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Step forward with your right foot.
  3. Bend your knee to get into a low lunge position. Make sure not to bend your knee past your toes. There should be a straight line from your knee down to your ankle.
  4. Tilt your torso forward and down by bending 
at the hip.
  5. Put your left hand on the floor for stabilization, and twist your spine to the extent it’s comfortable and try to get as close as you 
can to touching your right elbow to your 
right foot (or the floor next to your foot).
  6. Return to the starting position (standing up).
  7. Step with the left foot, and perform the same movement with the other side.
  8. Alternate each time, and perform a total 
of 20-30 repetitions.

3. Y Raise

  1. Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. With a slight bend in your elbows, raise your arms upward and out to the sides, making a “Y” formation until elbows are aligned with each ear. Contract shoulder muscles.
  3. Slowly lower arms, maintaining control to complete one rep.
  4. Remember, the point is to feel the resistance and tension. Keep your shoulder and upper back muscles flexed throughout the movement.
  5. Perform 20-30 repetitions.

 

 

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. Reach 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. Sphinx/Cobra

Starting position: Lie on your stomach on 
the floor, as if you were sleeping on the floor 
on your belly.

  1. Slowly prop yourself up on your elbows, bringing the upper half of your torso up 
off the ground.
  2. Start to straighten your elbows, further extending your back and lifting more of your torso off the ground, until you feel a gentle stretch in your spine. Only lift yourself to the extent that it feels right and comfortable.
  3. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.

4. Seated Spinal Twist

Starting position: Sit on the floor with one leg extended straight out in front of you, the other leg bent comfortably so that the sole of your resting foot touches the inner thigh of the straight leg, and your back straight.

  1. Bend forward at the waist, making sure to keep the back straight, and reach out towards your foot with your hands as far as you can.
  2. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.
  3. Relax and perform the same stretch on the other leg.

 

5. Cross Arm Shoulder Stretch

Starting position: Stand comfortably, with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold your arms 
out horizontally.

  1. Cross your left arm across your chest, so that your left fingers are pointing towards the right side of your body.
  2. Support your left arm with the elbow crease 
of your right arm, or use your right hand to hold your left arm in place against your chest.
  3. Use your right arm to pull your left arm in towards your body, so that you feel a stretch 
in your left shoulder.
  4. Hold for 15 seconds.
  5. Relax, and then perform the same stretch 
on the right shoulder.

 

6. Reverse Prayer

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

  1. Bring your hands behind your back, with the backs of your hands facing each other and your fingers facing down.
  2. From there, if possible, flip your hands in the other direction so your fingers are facing up.
  3. Then, if possible, turn your palms to face each other and press them together, slightly drawing your elbows back to open your chest and shoulders.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

 

7. Open Book Chest Stretch

Starting position: Lie down on your left side, 
with both knees bent and legs lying on top 
of each other on the ground.

  1. Stretch your left arm out so it's extended horizontally to the side of your body, with 
the palm facing up.
  2. Extend your right hand, and place it directly on the left hand, so now both of your arms and legs are simply lying on top of each other.
  3. Without moving your legs at all, raise your right arm and, making a semi-circle, twist your head and torso to the other side as you try to place your right arm on the floor to the right side of your body, as if you were an open book.
  4. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat the same stretch on the other side.

 

8. Floor Angel

Starting position: Lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. 
Legs should be comfortable, so separate them 
as much as feels comfortable. They’re not included in the stretch!

  1. Position both arms to the side of your body 
at a 90-degree angle, with your palms facing 
up towards the ceiling.
  2. Try as much as feels right and comfortable 
to have the entirety of your arms and shoulders touching the floor behind your body.
  3. Keeping your arms on the floor (or as close 
to it as possible for you), slowly raise your arms up over your head until they are fully extended and reach out above your head (with your arms still touching the floor) to until you feel a nice stretch for a few moments in your shoulders and chest.
  4. Lower your arms back to the original position, again, while keeping them on the floor.
  5. Repeat both positions sequentially for 
30 seconds, switching every few moments.

 

 

LOWER BODY STRETCHES

1. Reclining Angle Bound Pose

Starting position: Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.

  1. Turn your feet so now the sides of your feet are on the ground and there is an open space between your knees.
  2. Bring the soles of your feet together, pull them up towards your butt as much as you can.
  3. Allow your knees to open up and drop closer to the floor.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

2. Scorpion Pose

Starting position: Lie on your stomach with your legs straight and arms extended out to the sides, forming a ’T’, with your palms face down.

  1. Keeping your left leg straight, lift your right leg off the floor, bend your knee, and cross your right foot behind your left leg and up towards your left hand. You’re aiming for a diagonal movement of the right foot towards the upper right part of your body.
  2. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  3. Perform the same stretch on the other side.

 

3. Reverse Tabletop

Starting position: Sit on the floor with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands about shoulder-width apart as close to your shoulders as possible, with fingers facing away from your face.

  1. Flatten your fleet on the ground, and lift your whole body off the ground using your palms and feet glutes, and back muscles.
  2. Try to reach your hips towards the ceiling as high as you can, as you relax your head and neck and look up towards the ceiling.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds.

 

4. Warrior II Pose

Starting position: Stand with your feet double shoulder length apart and your arms extended horizontally with your palms facing down.

  1. Turn your left foot our about 90 degrees, and then bend your left knee into a lunge. Your right foot should still be pointing forwards. If this feels too comfortable, try to widen the distance between your legs by swiveling your left leg further away from the right foot.
  2. Turn your head to the left and look over your fingers.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, and then return to the starting position.
  4. Perform the same sequence with your right side and hold for 30 seconds.

 

5. Seated Forward Fold Hamstring Stretch

Starting position: Sit down on the floor and straighten both legs in front of you while 
sitting upright.

  1. With both arms, reach towards your feet as far as you can while only bending the upper body at the waist and keeping your spine straight.
  2. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.

 

6. 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.

 

7. 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.

 

8. Pigeon Stretch

Starting position: Start by getting into a tabletop position on your hands and knees.

  1. Bring your right knee forward and place it behind your wrist while shifting the leg so 
that your right ankle is in front of your left 
hip or left elbow.
  2. Straighten your left leg behind you, making sure your left knee is straight and your toes 
are pointed out behind you.
  3. Keeping your hips square, lower your 
torso towards the ground until you feel 
the maximum possible stretch that feels comfortable for you.
  4. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat the same stretch on the left leg.

 

9. Prone Quad Stretch

Starting position: Begin by lying on your stomach with your arms laying in front of you. All limbs should be relaxed, with your head facing directly in front of you.

  1. Lift your right leg towards your glutes while reaching behind with your right arm to grab your foot.
  2. Gently turn back to face the wall as you hold your ankle and stretch your right quadriceps.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.
  4. Relax and perform the same stretch on the other leg.

 

10. Hanging Calf Stretch

Starting position: Stand on the balls of your feet at the edge of a stair or step. If you don’t have a stair or step, you can place a few towels on top of each other to simulate one.

  1. While keeping your legs straight, allow gravity to pull your heels down towards the floor.
  2. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.