Stretching is one of the easiest things we can do to improve our mobility, ability to perform daily tasks, relieve muscle tension, and prevent injuries. Stretching doesn’t have to take a long time or be difficult. In fact stretching should be relaxing, enjoyable and help to alleviate the aches and pains that come from overly tight muscles. Stretching doesn’t require any fancy equipment, it can be done safely and easily in the comfort of your own home.
If we wanted to warm up our muscles to prepare for exercise, we would complete dynamic stretches – these involve lots of movement to increase heart rate, blood flow and stimulate the muscles to prepare for exercise.
When we want to work on increasing our flexibility and range-of-motion we perform a series of static stretches. These involve gentle stretching and holding for a certain amount of time. That is the type of stretching we will look at here. To begin with, you can hold the stretches for 15-20 seconds, and over time you can increase that up to 60 seconds. Obviously you want to be balanced, so make sure you repeat stretches on BOTH sides of the body, and spend more time on areas that you know are particularly tight for you.
The following are some examples of easy stretches you can do while sitting down at home. What could be easier than stretching while you watch TV?
Check out the video for specific, step by step explanations and demonstrations
|Glutes (figure four – ankle on opposite knee)|
|Hamstrings (leg out straight, reach)|
|Lower back (Forward bend)|
|Upper back (round back reach forward)|
|Upper traps/neck (Head tilt)|
|Obliques/ lats (Reach overhead – side bend)|