Stretching plays a big role in all of my classes. Most of the clients I meet, have tight hamstrings that can contribute to lower back stiffness and/or pain. Even if you are ‘fit as a fiddle,’ the following stretches are good for you. Many of us spend quite a bit of time sitting every day, use your chair to help you perform the following movements.
Ideally your muscles should be warm, so if you are at the office, do these stretches at your desk after your next long walk to your co-workers desk. Or perform them after being mildly active for 5 minutes, walking the dog etc.
Do the stretches in a pain free range of motion. Stretching should never cause pain.
Hold each stretch for 3-5 deep breaths. Do not bounce during the stretch. Simply find a pain free range of motion, where you can feel the muscles being challenged. Your breath should be smooth and long throughout. If your breath is short and shallow, the stretch is too intense, so ease out of it a bit.
Repeat on both sides of the body. You can do these stretches daily.
Sitting tall, sideways on the chair, turn slowly to face the back of the chair. Do not hunch your shoulders. You can look straight behind you instead of turning your head all the way to the side. If something hurts, STOP.
Sitting on the edge of the chair, hip hinge forward keeping your back straight and reach for the toes. Try to keep the knee straight. You should feel the muscles in the back of the upper leg.
Sitting tall on the edge of the chair, bring your knee to your chest. You can rotate the ankle one way and then the other as you stretch.
Incorporating more stretch time into your daily routine will help you to feel less stressed and over time you will begin to see an improvement in your flexibility.
Enjoy your day everyone!