In our efforts to tone-up, lose body fat, eat healthier, and build strength; we sometimes forget about the importance of stretching as part of our daily healthy lifestyle activities. Consistent stretching helps to keep our muscles pliable, improve daily activity and sport performances, and it helps to prevent injuries in the long-run.
It's always a good idea to warm the muscles up for about 10 minutes before starting your stretch routine, and then a good 15 minute daily stretch routine should do the trick for most people.
It's important to remember not to bounce or force your stretches. A slow pace process is recommended, holding each stretch for about 20 seconds. (if you are over the age of 65, a 40 second hold is better.)
Here's a few home-based, simple stretches you can incorporate into your daily healthy lifestyle routine:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
2. Raise your right arm up to shoulder height, and move it across the front of your body.
3. With your left arm, pull the right arm in as close to your chest as possible, and hold it for 20 seconds. You should feel the stretch across the back of your shoulder. Repeat this two times, then switch to the left side.
1. With your feet shoulder width apart, raise your right arm straight up over your head.
2. Bend your elbow so that your right hand is positioned close to your left shoulder.
3. Use your left hand to press back on your right elbow.. You will feel a stretch in the back of your arm (tricep) and upper shoulder.
4. Hold for 20 seconds, and repeat two times on each side.
1. Lie down with the small of your back against the floor.
2. Bend your left knee to 90 degrees to stabilize your hips.
3. Slowly raise your right leg off the ground with the knee as straight as possible. Your right hip should not rise off the floor, and the motion should come only from your hip.
4. As your foot approaches vertical, you will feel a stretch in the back of your leg (hamstrings).
5. Hold your leg in this raised position for 20 seconds.
6. After 20 seconds, relax your knee, and then repeat two more times before switching to the left leg.
1. Stand with feet together and hips straight.
2. Bend your right knee back, and hold the front of your right foot in your right hand.
3. Keeping your knees even (do not let your right knee swing forward), bend your right knee back. You will feel a stretch in the front of your leg (quads) from above your hip to your knee. Do not allow your posture to bow forward, but keep standing straight up.
4. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, and then relax. Repeat this two times, and then switch to the left quad.
1. Stand with your feet shoulder length apart and your hands against a chair or a wall.
2. Keep your heels on the floor and your knees straight while leaning forward into the chair or wall. You will feel this stretch down the back of your legs under your knees (calves).
3. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat two times then switch to the other leg.
*** If you'd like a 30 minute facilitated stretch session by me to focus on your tight, over-active and/or knotted muscles, I have single session and packages available. In no time, you'll feel less pain, have a better range of motion, and thwart off any potential future injuries.
Jack Witt, MS, CPT
Fitness and Health Coach
"Get Fit with Witt"
Individuals / Groups / Corporate
310.562.5629 Cell / 818.760.3891 Main
* New exercise & diet books "Tight, Tone, and Trim" and "Cut, Cool, and Confident"