05 Apr Heard a joke about flexibility once… It was a bit of a stretch
Whenever I see someone doing the splits or something that requires an insane amount of flexibility my first instinct is to be totally creeped out by it. My second reaction is to imagine how cool it would be if I was that flexible! Well, after doing some research I have found out that the goal of me being able to do the splits might not be realistic but I can definitely become more flexible. By getting into a routine of doing the stretches below you could end up joining Cirque Du Soleil as a contortionist in no time. Ok that might be a bit of an exaggeration but regardless your flexibility will improve.
Hip Flexor/Quad Stretch
Having both feet facing forward extend the back leg whilst keeping the knee on the ground. Bending your front leg, lean into it until you feel a stretch in the groin and hip region of the back leg. To feel an even greater stretch raise the same hand as the leg which is extended back above your head.
This stretch focuses on your quads, hamstrings and hip flexors.
Bridge with Leg Extension
Lying on your back with your knees bent at roughly 90 degrees so your feet are flat on the ground and your arms rested flat on the ground. Extend one leg and slowly and raise your hips upwards until you form a straight line from the toes of the extended leg with your shoulders which are rested on the ground. Press your back into the ground and open your chest. Hold this position with your leg raised for 10 seconds then slowly lower it. Repeat this 10 times on the same leg then swap and repeat for the other leg.
This stretch activates your chest, abs, hip flexors, glutes and leg muscles.
Fold Over Stretch
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent and your arms relaxed by your sides. Bend at the hips and slowly lower your head towards the ground, keeping all your muscles in your head, neck and shoulders relaxed. Exhale whilst you do this. Bend down as far as you can go aiming to wrap your arms around the back of your legs and hold the position for anywhere between 45 seconds and 2 minutes. If you need to bend your knees more to wrap your arms around your legs then do so. When you come back up, gently bend your knees and roll up.
This stretches your neck, back, glutes, hamstrings and calves.
Sitting on the floor with your knees bent so that the soles of your feet are together out in front of you. Hold onto your feet lean forward as far as you can without being too uncomfortable. As you do this, engage your core muscles. Hold this position for anywhere between 45 seconds and 2 minutes. After you have finished gently release and sit back up.
In this position your neck, back, glutes, hamstrings and thighs will experience a stretch.
Lying on your stomach on the floor have you hands next to your shoulders with your fingers facing forwards. Your legs should be rested together and extended behind you. Pressing down with your hands, lift your torso off the ground whilst keeping your pelvis as close to the ground as possible. Engage your core and draw your shoulder blades together behind you. This will open your chest. Hold this position for 30-45 seconds then release back down. Repeat this 5 times.
Stretching every day has many advantages. It can:
- Decrease the risk of injury as your range of movement will be improved and thus your body will not need as much energy to make specific movements. Your joints will also become more flexible which reduces the likelihood of doing damage whilst exercising.
- Improve your posture; by strengthening your muscles you will naturally improve your resting posture.
- Reduce lower back pain. This pain is normally due to sitting all day and thus your back muscles becoming tight and stressed. By stretching the muscles in your hamstrings, quads, hip flexors and surrounding muscles, it reduces the amount of stress placed on your back.
When stretching, it is important to not overstretch, so whilst you want to feel some discomfort if you push it too far you may cause yourself harm so please be careful whilst you do it. If you require further assistance with your flexibility give us a call on 9817 6611 and we can book you in to see our chiropractor to help you achieve your goals of maybe doing the splits one day.