To help me achieve this goal I have a stretching plan that I try to do 3 times per week. I came up with this plan by doing a little research online, deciding which stretches felt good, and what areas of my body needed more flexibility.
So far this year I have really noticed a difference:
- My yoga practice has improved
- My hips are less tight
- I have less back pain
I usually do these stretches in the evenings while I watch TV. The whole sequence of stretches only takes about 15 minutes.
I do want to apologize up front…evidently, I have my “mean mug” face on while I stretch. Thus, the lovely photo editing on some of the photos. I definitely have a good RBF 🙂
***Also, I am not a trainer or a doctor. This is just how I stretch based on the workouts that I do. So, please consult a professional before doing these stretches and don’t do anything if it hurts!***
Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds and make sure to do both sides where applicable.
1- Butterfly Stretch – soles of feet together, push legs toward the ground. Keep back straight.
2- Hamstring stretch – sit with right foot pulled into a “number 4” position. Reach for toes while keeping back straight. Repeat on other side.
3- Straddle Stretch – sit with legs in the straddle position. Fold forward as far as you can while keeping back straight.
4- Rotation Stretch – cross your right leg over your left and put right foot flat on the floor. Place right hand behind you. Place left hand or elbow on right knee. Twist torso while keeping back straight. Switch to other side.
5- Strap Assisted Toe Reach – sit on floor with legs extended, loop yoga strap around one foot. Gently pull toes toward shin. Lean forward slightly while keeping back straight.
6- Bow Stretch – lay flat on your stomach. Bend your knees and reach back to grab your feet. Pull to lift chest and thighs off the floor.
7- Pigeon – sit with left knee bent and open to the side and right leg extended behind. Keep hips toward the ground. Walk hands out and lower chest. Bring elbows to the floor if you can. Repeat on other side.
9- Chest Opener and Shoulder Squeeze – standing with feet hip-width apart and a straight back, raise arms to 90-degree angles. Push elbows back. For extra stretch look down.
10- Side Stretch – stand with feet hip-width apart. Clasp hands above head and stretch up and over to the left side. Repeat on other side.
11- Standing Hamstring Stretch – feet a little bit more than hip-width apart. Bending forward, get hands as close to the ground as you can. Option to grasp arms and hang in the stretch. Bend knees and slowly rise back up when finished.
And that’s it! 11 stretches and done! What stretches are your favorites? What other ones do you think I should consider adding to my routine? Happy Stretching Everyone!