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Stretching Day 9

DYNAMIC WARMUP

1. Walking Jacks (or Jumping Jacks)

  1. Stand straight, with your feet shoulder-
width apart.
  2. As you lift both arms (arms should be straight) from your sides in a circular motion, step to the right with your right foot.
  3. Bring your arms down in the same circular motion while returning the right leg to its original position.
  4. Lift both arms again in a circular motion 
and step out to the left with your left foot.
  5. Repeat 10-15 times on each side, for a total 
of 20-30 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. Speed-Skater Arms

  1. Stand with legs shoulder-width apart and your knees bent, so your legs are making about a 45-degree angle (in between straight up and a 90-degree angle squat).
  2. Lift your arms and hold them straight out horizontally at shoulder level, remaining in the semi-squat position.
  3. Staying in this semi-squatted position with your arms up, without moving your legs at all, slowly twist your whole upper body (including the head and neck) as if you were trying to look behind you to the right side (your arms will twist as well).
  4. Immediately twist and rotate the other way as if you were trying to look behind you to the left.
  5. Perform 10-15 repetitions in each direction for a total of 20-30 repetitions.

 

 

UPPER BODY STRETCHES

1. 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.

2. 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.

 

3. 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.

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. Doorway Pectoral Stretch

Starting position: Stand in an open doorway.

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

 

6. Static Y Hold

Starting position: Stand straight with your 
arms by your side.

  1. Keeping your arms completely straight, 
lift them above you to create a Y shape 
with your torso and your arms.
  2. Without moving your torso, and without bending your arms at all, try to pull your 
arms back behind your body to open 
the shoulder muscles as much as feels comfortable and right.
  3. Hold 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. 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. 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.

 

2. 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.

 

3. 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.

 

4. 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.

 

5. 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.

 

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. 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.

 

8. 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.

 

9. Reverse Tabletop

Starting position: Sit on the floor with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands about shoulder-width apart as close to your shoulders as possible, with fingers facing away from your face.

  1. Flatten your fleet on the ground, and lift your whole body off the ground using your palms and feet glutes, and back muscles.
  2. Try to reach your hips towards the ceiling as high as you can, as you relax your head and neck and look up towards the ceiling.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds.

 

10. 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.