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Stretching Day 37

DYNAMIC WARMUP

1. Inch Worm Walk Out

  1. Stand straight up with feet hip-width apart. Keep knees slightly bent.
  2. Bend at the waist and fold over in a slow and controlled manner to reach your hands to the ground. Bend your knees as much as necessary to actually have your hands firmly planted on the ground.
  3. Walk your hands forward until you find yourself in a push-up position.
  4. Hold the push-up position for 1-2 seconds, squeezing your core, butt, and hamstring muscles.
  5. Walk your hands back to your feet until you’re comfortable enough to stand up again.
  6. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions total.

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. 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.

 

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. 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.

 

7. 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.

 

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.

 

9. 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.

 

10. 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.

 

 

LOWER BODY STRETCHES

1. 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.

2. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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.

8. 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.

9. Lying Hamstring Extension

Starting position: Lie flat on the ground with 
both your legs fully stretched out.

  1. Hold the back of the knee with both hands
 and pull the leg up towards your chest while the knee is bent.
  2. Slowly straighten the knee until you feel a stretch as you continue to hold the leg for stabilization.
  3. Lift your straight leg towards your chest 
as much as possible.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever it feels comfortable to do so.
  5. Relax and perform the same stretch on the other leg.

 

10. 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.

 

11. 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.

 

12. Standing Wall Calf Stretch w/ Achilles Focus

Starting position: Stand directly in front of a wall, about 6 inches to 1 foot away from it.

  1. Put your hands on the wall and slightly bend your knees.
  2. Place the left foot a tiny bit back from your right foot, and flex your left foot so that it’s on the left toes.
  3. Bend your right knee so that it inches closer to the wall so you feel a stretch in the bottom of your right calf, where the Achilles tendon is. Bend as far forward as possible while keeping the right heel on the ground.
  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.