Fitness Tips – Day 5 (Stretching)

Today’s fitness tips are targeting stretching exercises. Keep in mind, these moves are not all-inclusive, meaning there are plenty of other exercises that are not mentioned. These are just meant to give you some moves to try. Whatever you decide to do, be sure to WARM UP FIRST. We will be doing a video later that talks about different ways to warm up your muscles.

Disclaimer: The language that I use when describing these exercise moves are geared towards the layman, not exercise or medical professionals who are well versed in the terminology associated with anatomy and skeletal structures. I will provide technical terms at times, but you will notice that for the most part, I am not using technical terms. However, I did include some terminology in this blog so people realize I do have some knowledge beyond the basics.

The attached video has the following exercise options:

Standing Stretches

  • Chest Stretch – clasp hands behind back
  • Back stretch – clasp hands in front
  • Biceps and Shoulder stretch – grab elbow
  • Overhead Triceps Stretch

Balance

  • Front Hamstring Stretch
    • Point toe towards shin (dorsiflexion)
    • Point toe out, then back
    • Pump the foot 4-5 times with gas pedal motion (plantar flexion)
  • Quadriceps stretch – use support if needed
  • Hip flexors stretch – lunge forward and press other leg down to floor
  • Unilateral standing – foot on leg and arms in a tree Yoga move

Mat Work – Seated

  • Sit up straight – add dorsiflexion
  • Push chest up with hands behind
  • Open legs and stretch down legs & forward
  • Straight leg stretch w/ bent knee
  • Cross leg stretch – cross leg over straight leg, hug knee towards chest

Mat Work – On Knees

  • Cat/Camel – arch back up/down
  • Birddog – opposite arm and leg reach
  • Kneeling Prisoner Rotations – both knees
  • Kneeling Rotations – one knee

Mat Work – Prone Position (On Stomach)

  • Lying on stomach with feet flat, push arms up from the elbow to stretch the back
  • With arms by side and palms facing up, lift head, arms, and feet at the same time
  • I, Y, W, O Formations

Mat Work – Supine (on Back)

  • Bridges – regular
  • Bridges – one leg up
  • Pull knee towards chest, other leg straight

Here are some additional tips to explain some of the muscles impacted by these exercise moves:

Muscles StretchedKey Points
– Pectoralis major
– Anterior deltoid
1- Stand with your feet hip-width apart
2- Clasp your hands behind your back
3- Straighten your arms
4- Raise your arms until you feel tension
5- Maintain neutral spine
– Trapezius
– Latissimus dorsi
– Posterior deltoid
– Bicep brachi
1- Stand with your feet hip-width apart
2- Clasp your hands in front of you
3- Straighten your arms away from your body
4- Separate the scapula by pushing your shoulders forward
Triceps1- Stand with your feet hip-width apart
2- Raise your elbow above your head
3- Reach toward the opposite scapula
4- Increase the stretch by pushing your elbow with the opposite hand
5- Repeat with your other arm
Hip flexors1- Adopt the lunge position
2- Lower the hips forward and down
3- Reach your knee to the floor if possible
4- Keep your body upright
5- Keep your front foot flat
6- Repeat with your other leg  
Quadriceps1- Clasp the front of your foot behind you
2- Bring your heel toward your bottom
3- Keep your knees almost together
4- Maintain neutral spine
5- Repeat with your other foot
Hamstrings1- Sit on the floor with neutral spine
2- Place the heel of one foot on the inside of the opposite knee
3- Lean forward from the waist
4- Maintain neutral spine
Hip adductors1- Sit on the floor with your legs wide apart
2- Lean to one side, facing forward
3- Bend the knee of the side to which you are leaning
4- Keep the opposite leg straight
5- Repeat with your other leg
Hip abductors1- Sit on the floor with one leg out straight in front of you
2- Cross the opposite leg over the straight leg
3- Sit upright and hug your knee to your chest
4- Repeat with your other leg
Exercises related to Anatomy

Stay tuned next time for a segment on chair exercises.

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