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Stretching Day 65

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. 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.

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.
  6. Repeat 20-30 times.

 

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. 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. Doorway Pectoral Stretch

Starting position: Stand in an open doorway.

  1. Take a few steps back to give yourself space, and shift your body weight
  2. Raise each arm up to the side, bent at a 
90-degree angle, with palms facing forward. Rest your palms on the door frame.
  3. Slowly step forward with one foot and you’ll feel a stretch in your shoulders and chest.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch whenever possible.

 

9. 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.

 

10. 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.

 

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. Lying Hip Extension

Starting position: Lie 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.

 

4. 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.

 

5. 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.

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. 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

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. Downward Dog

Starting position: Begin on all fours, with your knees hip-width apart and your hands directly below your shoulders.

  1. Press back into your heels to straighten your knees and raise your butt up to the ceiling until you feel the stretch in your hamstrings. If you need to, extend your arms forward so that you can straighten your legs a bit more.
  2. Keep your head, neck, and spine aligned as you press back into the feeling of the stretch in the back of your legs and calves.
  3. 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

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.