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Stretching Day 18

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. Split Squat

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Step one foot forward as far as possible without losing form or balance.
  3. Bend both knees and lift the heel of your back foot up off of the ground, putting weight into the heel of the front foot. Ensure that your knee in front doesn’t overextend past your toes.
  4. Continue lowering your weight until your back leg shin and front leg thigh are nearly parallel to the ground.
  5. Pause for a count of two. Drive the heel of the front foot into the ground and stand to return to starting position.
  6. Staying in the same position (without moving your feet), lift yourself up and come back down into the squat 10-15 times.
  7. Switch legs and perform the same movement on the other side for another 10-15 reps.

 

3. Push-Up

  1. Lie on the ground face down and place your hands shoulder-width apart. Push your body off the ground through your hands while keeping your back as straight as possible.
  2. Lower yourself back down until your chest nearly touches the ground as you inhale.
  3. Exhale and press your upper body back up 
to the starting position while squeezing 
your chest, arms, and abdominal muscles.

 

 

UPPER BODY STRETCHES

1. Side Neck Tilt

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 tilt your head toward your right shoulder and try to touch it with your ear, while stretching to point the other ear to 
the ceiling.
  2. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds, then return to the start position.
  3. Perform the same stretch on your left side. Hold for 15 seconds.

 

2. 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.

 

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. 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.

 

5. Thread the Needle Shoulder Stretch

Starting position: Start on all fours, with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips.

  1. Bend your legs so that your torso is supported as much as possible by your legs.
  2. Hold your left arm out in front of you for stability.
  3. Reach your right arm through the hole between your left arm and the floor, palm facing up.
  4. Bend your left elbow as you gently lean into your right side. You should feel a stretch in 
the back of your right shoulder.
  5. Hold for 15 seconds.
  6. Perform the same stretch on the left side.

 

6. Static Y Hold

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

  1. Keeping your arms completely straight, 
lift them above you to create a Y shape 
with your torso and your arms.
  2. Without moving your torso, and without bending your arms at all, try to pull your 
arms back behind your body to open 
the shoulder muscles as much as feels comfortable and right.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds.

 

7. 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.

 

8. Surface Tricep Stretch

Starting position: Stand with your right side next to a chest-high support structure - anything sturdy enough for you to lean a part of your weight on like a chair, or countertop. If there 
is no such structure available, you can also perform this stretch using a wall.

  1. Place your left leg about 2 feet behind your right leg, and to the left of your right leg 
so that you have stable support on the ground.
  2. Place your right elbow on the top of the support structure, and lower your body until you feel 
a stretch in your right tricep and the side of your back.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds.
  4. Relax, and then perform the same stretch 
on the left side.

 

 

LOWER BODY STRETCHES

1. 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.

2. Halfway Center Split

Starting position: Stand straight up and 
widen your feet two shoulder-widths apart 
(as wide as possible).

  1. Bend forward at the hips while keeping 
your legs as straight as possible.
  2. Let your body hang down and try to place 
your palms on the ground. You’ll feel the stretch in your inner thighs on both legs.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds.

3. 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.

 

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. Figure 4

Starting position: Lie down on your back, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor in 
front of you.

  1. Cross your left foot over your right knee.
  2. Grab your right leg with both hands and pull your right knee in towards your upper body until you feel a stretch in the glute muscles 
on the left side of your body.
  3. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then relax 
and return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat the stretch on the other side. 
Hold for 30 seconds.

 

6. Seated Single Leg Hamstring Stretch

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.

 

7. 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.

 

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. Lying Hip Extension

Starting position: Lay on the floor on your back with your arms outstretched into a ‘Y’ shape above your head. Arms should be resting comfortably on the floor. Feet flat on the floor with legs shoulder-width apart.

  1. Lift your right leg and cross it over your left knee so that your right leg is resting, open, 
on your left leg.
  2. Without moving your torso, bend your left leg down towards the ground until the whole left side of your left leg is resting on the ground.
  3. Open your right hip by pulling your right 
leg towards the ground.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, and then perform 
the same stretch on the other side.

 

10. 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.