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Stretching Day 50

DYNAMIC WARMUP

1. 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 tippy toes.
  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.

2. Plank

  1. Place your forearms on the ground, with your elbows aligned beneath your shoulders. Keep your arms parallel to your body at about shoulder-width distance. (You should be in a push-up position, only on your forearms rather than your hands).
  2. Ground your toes on the floor and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. Be careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees.
  3. Neutralize your neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot in front of your hands. Your head should be in line with your back.
  4. Contract your abdominals to keep yourself up and prevent your booty from sticking up towards the ceiling.
  5. Keep your back flat and hold the position for 30-60 seconds.

3. Glute Bridge

  1. Position yourself with your back on the ground, knees bent and feet on the floor, hip-width apart, shins perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Engage your core by first flattening your 
back onto the ground. Imagine a string 
pulling your belly button into your spine.
  3. Brace your core and drive your hips and 
chest upward at the same time until your torso, hips, and thighs form a 45° angle
 to the floor.
  4. Contract your glute muscles and hold 
for a count of 2.
  5. In a controlled movement, return to 
starting position.


 

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. 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.

 

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. 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.

 

10. 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.

 

 

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. 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. 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.

 

4. 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.

 

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. 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.

 

10. Extended Triangle Pose

Starting position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step your right leg out to the side while shifting your foot, so the toes on your right foot are facing out.

  1. Stretch both arms out to your sides at shoulder height.
  2. Shift your torso to the right and extend down, reaching your right arm towards your right foot as far as you can.
  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.

 

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. 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.