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Stretching Day 20

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. Standing Hamstring Scoop

  1. Stand with your right foot forward and to the right, so that your right heel is about 6 inches in front of the toes on your left foot and 6-12 inches to the right of your left foot.
  2. Lift your right foot so that it is on the heel.
  3. In one motion, bend at the hip so your body folds forward towards the ground (keep the back and spine straight in one line). Keep both arms straight the whole time, stretch both arms directly down towards the ground, and make a semi-circle with your arms toward your body, as if you were scooping something off your the floor.
  4. Perform the movement repeatedly 10-15 times.
  5. Switch legs and perform the movement 10-15 more times, for a total of 20-30 repetitions.

 

3. 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.

 

 

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. 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.

     

    4. 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.

     

    5. Corner Chest Stretch

    Starting position: Stand at a corner between 
two walls, about 1 foot away from the corner 
of the wall.

    1. Place one arm on each wall, with each forearm and palm resting comfortably on a wall.
    2. Lean in towards the wall as much as possible 
as you feel the stretch in your chest.
    3. Lean your head back as the front of your neck stretches, with your chin reaching towards 
the ceiling.
    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. 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.

     

    8. Forearm Stretch w/ Hands On Surface

    Starting position: Stand in front of a surface 
like a bench, bed, table, couch, or any surface 
that is about waist level or a little bit lower.

    1. Place your fingers on the edge of the surface and drop your wrists down, so that your palms are facing up and your fingers are pointing towards your body.
    2. Lean forward until you feel a comfortable stretch in your forearms and wrists.
    3. Hold for 15 seconds.
    4. Now, turn your hands over so that your 
palms are facing the surface and your 
fingers are pointing away from your body.
    5. Drop your wrists down and lean forward 
until you feel the stretch in your forearms 
and wrists.
    6. Hold for 15 seconds.

     

     

    LOWER BODY STRETCHES

    1. 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.

    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. 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.

     

    4. 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.

     

    5. 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.

     

    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. Lying Quad Stretch

    Starting position: Lie on the left side of your 
body and hold your head up with your hand so that you’re laying on your left side with your 
head propped up and supported by your left hand. 
Your right knee can be slightly bent for stability and comfort (whatever feels right).

    1. With your free, right hand, grab your right foot while bending the leg behind you so that your right knee is in a straight line with the rest of your body as you stretch and pull your right foot towards your butt.
    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.

     

    9. 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.

     

    10. 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.