Ahhh, we have all heard someone tell us, “stretch more” and we all know it’s good for us. It increases our range of motion, calms our mind, improves circulation, and makes us feel damn good!
When you start to include stretches into your training program avoid random acts of stretching. Take a moment to become aware of where your body is in space. Feel what is tighter, higher, shorter, where your asymmetries in your body lie. If you are unsure, a good place to start is by looking in the mirror and observing what you see in your body. It’s important to remember that the body parts that may feel sore or ache may just be as a result of something else pulling. For example, an achy neck could come from tight shoulders.
The stretches below are a good place to start your stretching program. You can do these exercises daily or pick and choose a couple a day. These stretches are great to do at the start of your day, between working, before, or after exercise… basically at any time, just do them! Remember to stretch both sides of the body when doing your stretches. You will start to see small improvements that will give you great joint range and mobility and take you out of tightness. Try to hold each position for a couple of breaths, inhaling and exhaling mindfully into your rib cage. If something feels like it is hurting you then it is best to stop.
Exercise 1: Side stretch - this stretches both sides of the body laterally.
Exercise 2: Shoulder stretch
Exercise 3: Shoulder stretch and pectoral stretch
Exercise 4: Neck stretch
Exercise 5: Cat stretch - this stretches the lower back and works the upper back
Exercise 6: Hamstring stretch
Exercise 7: Hip flexor stretch
Exercise 8: Gluteus stretch
Exercise 9: Inner thigh stretch
Exercise 10: Downward dog stretch - stretches the backline of the body
Exercise 11: Spine Twist Supine - stretches the back and shoulders and works the obliques.
Exercise 12: Lower back stretch
Exercise 13: Thread a needle - this stretches the back, between the shoulder blades and the neckline.
Exercise 14: Child’s pose - this stretches the lower back and the feet.
Hope you enjoy all the yummy feelings!