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Stretching Day 16

DYNAMIC WARMUP

1. World's Greatest Stretch

  1. Start on your hands and knees in push-up position on the floor, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your body in one straight line from the top of your head down to your heels.
  2. Step your right foot forward next to your hand, and bend forward so that the right knee is over the right ankle and you feel a stretch in your left hip flexor.
  3. Place your left hand on the ground inside of the right foot for stabilization, and then twist your body to the right, towards your right leg, reaching the right hand up toward the sky. Turn your neck towards your outstretched arm in the same motion and look just beyond your fingertips.
  4. Return your hand to the floor, bring your right leg back so that you find yourself in the original push-up position.
  5. Repeat the above on the other side.
  6. Perform 5-10 repetitions on each side for a total of 10-20 repetitions.

2. 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 the stated amount of repetitions.

 

3. Pike Push-Up

  1. Position your body as though you were going 
to perform a plank, with your body forming 
a straight line from head to hips to heels.
  2. Engage your core and begin to lift your 
hips toward the ceiling. At the same time, 
walk your hands towards your feet.
  3. Once your torso is nearly perpendicular to the ground, position your hands wider than your shoulders. Shift your weight to your hands 
and move your feet so you are on your toes.
  4. Gaze toward your toes to keep your head neutral and begin to bend your elbows, lowering your head toward the floor.
  5. Once you’ve lowered as far as you can, 
push yourself back up to complete one rep.

 

 

UPPER BODY STRETCHES

1. Seated Forward Curl

Starting position: Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground.

  1. Bending at the waist, bend your whole 
upper body towards the floor, as if you 
were trying to touch your chest to the floor.
  2. Stretch and hold for 30 seconds, 
trying to deepen the stretch as you relax.

 

2. 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.

 

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. Leaning Long Arm Shoulder Stretch

Starting position: Choose an object you can hold 
in front of you that is high enough for you to grab with your hands, and sturdy enough that it won’t fall when you fold your body over (think: table or chair). Ideally, it should be somewhere in between belly and chest-height. Stand in front of the object and grab it with your hands.

  1. Take a few steps back to give yourself space, and shift your body weight forward, bending 
at the waist to create a stretch in the chest and shoulder muscles.Elongate the arms and spine as much as possible while trying to open the chest and shoulder muscles by pushing your torso towards the ground.
  2. Hold for 30 seconds.

 

5. Behind the Back Elbow to Elbow Grip

Starting position: Sitting down on the edge of a chair, 
or standing with your arms hanging by your sides.

  1. Press your shoulders back to open up your chest by squeezing your shoulder blades together and broadening the chest.
  2. Bring your arms behind your back and grab your wrists with both hands behind your back.
  3. If you can, extend the stretch and grab both 
forearms or elbows.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

6. 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.

 

7. Locust Pose

Starting position: Lie flat with your face and belly towards the ground and your arms lying comfortably beside your body.

  1. Lift your chest, arms and your legs as much as possible to form a sort of boat shape, curving the inner part of your back towards the ground and the outer parts of your body and spine towards the ceiling.
  2. Hold for 30 seconds.

 

8. Behind the Back Tricep Extension

Starting position: Stand comfortably, with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  1. Lift your right arm straight up above your body and then bend at the elbow to lower your right hand behind your back, bringing your palm down as far down your back as you can.
  2. Grab your right elbow with your left hand and gently pull it to the left until you feel a comfortable stretch.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds.
  4. Relax, and then perform the same stretch on the left tricep.

 

 

LOWER BODY STRETCHES

1. Frog Pose

Starting position: Lie facedown, 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. Pry Squat

Starting position: Stand with feet about 1.5 shoulder-distance apart with your feet comfortably pointed outwards away from your body.

  1. Sit into a squat and place your elbows on the inside of your knees. Feet should be pointed outwards away from your body. If you can’t do this, get into a comfortable squat, and lean your hands on your elbows for support.
  2. While trying to make sure both feet are completely flat on the ground, deepen the squat as much as you can by lowering closer to the floor.
  3. Use your arms to press your knees as far out as is comfortable while still maintaining a tight core and proper squat form with your spine as straight as possible, without arching your spine.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds and deepen the stretch whenever possible.

 

3. Happy Baby Pose

Starting position: Lie on your back on the floor, with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

  1. Lift your feet off the floor and grab the outside edges of your feet with your hands. If you can’t grab your feet while keeping your whole back and head on the floor, grab the area around your knees, shins, or ankles.
  2. Gently pull your feet towards your chest 
and let your knees lower toward the floor 
on both sides of your body.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds.   

 

4. 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.

 

5. 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.

 

6. 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.

 

7. Kneeling Quad Stretch

Starting position: Place your right knee on 
the ground and your left in a kneeling position, 
at a 90 angle.

  1. Take a moment to find your balance, and once you’re ready, reach back with your right arm, and grab your ankle, or middle of your shin, depending on what’s easiest.
  2. Pull the right leg towards your butt.
  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.

 

8. 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.

 

9. 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.

 

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.