Easy Stretching Routine
You may feel awkward doing stretching exercises at your desk. But right now, as you sit there at your computer, you are doing one of the worst things you can do to your body – you’re sitting still. And not only that, but the way you sit — and type, and hold the phone – may be wreaking havoc on your bones, joints, and muscles.
If you want to keep your muscles flexible, the best thing you can do is stretch them regularly. Stretching doesn’t have to be reserved for only before and after workouts. You can do it anytime, anywhere, even in your office cubicle. The flexibility you’ll gain from stretching can also help you perform better when it comes to sports and agility. Use these basic stretches to start training your body to be more flexible.
First: Overall Stretch
Standing up, reach your arms to the ceiling; hold for five to 10 seconds. Bend to one side; hold again. Straighten and bend to the other side. Tip:Reach for tightness, not pain, with any stretching routine. In other words, stretch until you feel resistance, but don’t push so far that you hurt yourself.
Lower your chin to your chest and roll your head gently from side to side. Tip: Press, don’t bounce. Move slowly into any stretch and hold it for five to 10 seconds. Never bounce into a stretch; you can tear muscle fibers.
Reach your right arm across your chest and over your shoulder, placing your hand on your shoulder blade if you can. Hold for five to 10 seconds, then switch. Tip: Be symmetrical: Whatever you stretch out on one side of your body, stretch out on the other.
Lie down on your back and bring both knees to your chest. Grasp your hands around your knees and gently pull your legs closer to your chest. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Tip: Stretch after exercise! That’s when your muscles are warm, which is the best time to improve your flexibility.
Chest and Biceps Stretch
Stand tall or sit upright. Interlace your fingers behind your back and straighten you arms. With arms straight, lift arms up behind you while keeping your back straight and your shoulders down. Keep the shoulders relaxed away from the ears.
Hip And Gluteal Stretch
Lie on your back with your legs extended and your back straight. Keep your hips level and your lower back down on the floor. Bend your left knee, placing left foot flat on the floor (not pictured). Cross your right ankle at your left knee. Grab the back of your left thigh and hug your legs toward your chest. Place your right elbow on the inner portion of your right knee and push it slightly to the side. Repeat on opposite side.
Tips To Maximize Your Flexibility From Stretching
- Warm up with a light jog or ride on a bike for about 5-to-10 minutes before you stretch.
- Don’t bounce or push to the point of pain while you stretch.
- Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds, and exhale as you stretch.
- Stretch at least two to three times a week. Try not to get out of the habit of stretching regularly or you could lose the range of motion you’ve built up.
- Talk to a doctor about how to stretch any problems areas, such as joints where you’ve had a previous injury.
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