Stretching relaxes the body and improves health, increases circulation, improves posture, tightens the skin, gives more freedom of movement and a feeling of lightness. Fortunately, improving flexibility and mobility is not difficult, it just takes a little time. Try adding the following flexibility stretches to your routine to help relieve muscle tension and increase flexibility so you can move more freely in life.
1- Stretch the back of thigh
Start position: Put the right leg forward, straighten the knee, lift the toe, tilt the body, stretch the chin, put the hands on the floor.
Roll over: Perform each movement on an exhalation. Pull your chin out more and lean toward your right leg, pushing your body forward. Shift your body weight to your right foot, from the heel to the toe. Bend your left leg forward, lift your foot off the floor and place it on half toe. Gently return to starting position. Do 8 wiggles, hold for 8 seconds, then reverse the starting position to the other side and repeat. Important:
- Don’t bend the knee, otherwise the line will break and the muscles won’t stretch (if you can’t, put any elevation on the floor and put your hands on it).
- Do not bend the lumbar spine: you must bend well and feel the stretching of the posterior surface of the thigh.
- Don’t lower your chin – maximum extension helps the lumbar spine to flex properly.
2- Stretching inner muscles
Initial position: Sit on floor with legs apart and knees straight.
Leans: Turn your shoulders and body towards your right leg, straighten your toes and grasp the toe with both hands. Bend your lower back as far as possible and feel how you are stretching the hamstring muscle. Do 8 side bends, hold for 8 seconds, then repeat the figure of 8 on the left side. Forward bends: Open your legs in a cross fold. As you inhale, round your spine. As you exhale, stretch your arms out in front of you and arch your lumbar spine as much as possible. Feel the tension of the muscles on both sides. Make 8 wiggles forward, hold at the bottom for 8 counts, moving your fingers farther and farther apart. With each movement, the body gets lower and lower. Stretch your abdomen toward the floor and pull your feet toward you, increasing the tension. If the level of training does not allow it, it is better to loosen the tension (not to reduce the feet to themselves). Important:
- Do not bend your legs at the knees or the stretching will not work.
- Do not hunch your lumbar spine – you need maximum flexion.
- You should not stretch your head to your thighs, but your abdomen with your chest open. This will allow you to feel the muscles in your legs and lower back.
3- Pectoral, shoulder and lumbar muscle stretches
This stage will allow you to experience pleasure, as the posture opens up. Start position: Kneel, legs straightened at 90 degrees. Inclinations: Bring arms forward with body facing floor, dropping chest and shoulders. Don’t open your elbows. If you feel discomfort, correct the pose. The chin rests on the floor, and there is tension from the fingertips to the buttocks. Hold the posture for 30 to 60 seconds. Important:
- Do not change the right angle, otherwise the pelvis will move forward and stretching will not work.
4- Lower back stretch
This is one of the easiest and most effective exercises. It can be done at any level of training. Initial position: lie on your stomach. Stretching: Bend your knees, lift your body, place your hands at the level of your pelvis and pull your head toward your feet. Wiggle your shoulders back and forth 8 times, then hold the position for 8 counts. You should feel a good sensation in the lumbar spine. You may feel some pain. Important:
- The gaze should be directed backward, with the head pointing toward the legs with the chin extended.
- Do not take your arms away from the pelvis – this reduces the amplitude and interferes with stretching.
5- Strengthening the muscle back corset
Initial position: lie on stomach.
Exercise: Straighten your arms and legs and raise them to the same level at the same time, without connecting them. It will be difficult at first, so it is not the quantity that is important, but the quality. Lift the body 20 times, then hold the position for 10 counts. Ideally, make 2-3 attempts. Important:
- Raise your arms and legs in one line at a time.
- Do not bend your knees – this breaks the correct line and interferes with the stretching.
- If the position is delayed for 10 counts, the muscles will burn – this is normal, it means you are doing everything right.
- You can’t literally “flop” to the starting position – you have to lower yourself slowly and not completely (leave a space of 1 cm from the floor).