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Stretching Day 22

DYNAMIC WARMUP

1. Side Plank w/ Twist

  1. Position yourself in a side plank, 
left shoulder over left elbow and 
body in a strong, straight line.
  2. Reach the fingertips of your right hand 
toward the ceiling.
  3. Engage your core and turn your torso forward. Bring your right hand down and position it between your torso and the floor, as though you were trying to twist and reach the rest 
of the room behind you.
  4. Slowly rotate back to starting position. 
Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.

2. Good Morning

  1. With feet hip-width apart, stand upright, knees slightly bent, and place your hands at the back of your head, elbows opened wide.
  2. Engage your abdominal muscles by pulling them into your spine.
  3. Keeping your spine neutral and pressing 
your rear backward, bend forward at the 
hips and continue doing so until your back 
is nearly parallel to the floor.
  4. Slowly return to standing, engaging your 
core and squeezing your glutes at the top 
of the movement.
  5. Perform the movement 15-20 times.

 

3. Rocking Feet w/ Arm Raise

  1. Stand straight up, comfortably, with your arms by your side.
  2. In one motion, lift your straight arms as high as you can above your head, while coming up onto the balls of your feet to your tiptoes.
  3. Then, in one motion, lower your straight arms and stretch them as far back behind you as you can while rotating your feet back onto your heels. Do this VERY slowly to make sure you can actually balance on your heels!
  4. Repeat the exercise in each direction 10-15 times for a total of 20-30 repetitions.

 

 

UPPER BODY STRETCHES

1. 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.

2. 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.

 

3. Forward & Backward 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. Stand straight with your feet hip-width 
apart and arms down by your sides.
  2. Gently reach your chin directly forward in front of you as far as you can, as if you were trying to touch the wall in front of you with your chin.
  3. Hold the stretch for 3-5 seconds, then return 
to the starting position.
  4. Pull your chin inward, as if you were trying 
to pull it into your spine. Hold for 3-5 seconds, and return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat both stretches in succession for 
30 seconds.

 

4. 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.

 

5. 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.

6. 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.

 

7. 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.

 

8. 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.

 

9. 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.

 

10. 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. 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. 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.

3. 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.

 

4. 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.

 

5. 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.

 

6. 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.

7. 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.

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. Wig-Wag

Starting position: Lie on your back, with your knees bent on the floor and your arms to the side.

  1. Pull your right leg towards your chest and twist your body to the left, trying to touch your right knee to the floor on the left side of your body.
  2. Use your left arm to pull your leg and deepen the stretch to the extent it feels good and comfortable.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever possible.
  4. Return to the starting position, and then perform the same stretch on the other side.

 

11. Standing Quad Stretch

Starting position: Stand with your whole body relaxed.

  1. While balancing on your left foot, grab the bottom of your right shin, where it meets 
your foot, by bending your leg behind you.
  2. Tuck your pelvis in, and pull your shin 
toward your butt (glutes), making sure your knee is pointing to the ground, or as close to the ground as possible.
  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.

 

12. 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.