There has already been enough talk about stretching, and good information shared on the topic, that i decided a new stretching category could be useful and fun! I will begin typing up my stretching routine and post links to good stretching sites that i found or that people have shared with me. I definitely welcome your thoughts and experiences with stretching and look forward to stealing your great stretches!
I always start standing up. It should be easy to figure out the application – where appropriate, I do 10 stretches in each direction on each side. Quick Note: any time I or anyone else says to “hold the stretch” or “hold the pose” make sure that you keep breathing. My sports Chiropractor used to tell me to “breathe into the stretch”. With every breath you can feel the stretch deepen. If you hold your breath, your muscles tend to freeze up and do the opposite of stretching. I use this stretching routine for almost everything; before a hike, if motivated – when i get up in the morning, before doing construction projects, before i play golf, when smart – before a road trip/plane ride, and before and after a run.
1. Neck Rolls – 10 clockwise, 10 counter clockwise. (I have never had the problem, but I was told years ago, keep your eyes open if you are prone to dizziness and you will not get dizzy. These should be kinda slow anyway, so that too should help avoid dizziness.)
2. Shoulder Rolls – I do both (right and left) at the same time, but that is not necessary. 10 starting out with a forward motion. 10 in the opposite direction.
3. Arm Swings – one leg forward, one a little behind you. If your left foot is forward, swing your right arm in a full circle (imagine a helicopter blade – then rotate the helicopter so that the blade is spinning perpendicular to the earth instead of parallel to it). Swing the arm 10 times in a forward direction, 10 times in the reverse direction. Switch positions – right foot forward, left foot back and repeat the procedure swinging the left arm.
4. I don’t have a name for these – Side Stretchers – feet about shoulder width apart. Raise your right arm straight up towards the ceiling until you feel the stretch. Hold that a moment or two. Keep the right arm at full extension, and slowly bend it towards your left side. You are moving the hand over your head and staying in line with your body. You are sort of making a reverse letter “c”. If you were supremely flexible, you would end this by touching your left hip or knee (that is not the goal just a visual.) Once you have moved the hand and arm over your head, in line with your body, allow your left side to continue to bend, helping you right hand in it’s quest for your left side. Go until you feel the stretch then stop and hold it. You should be able to feel this stretch up and down most of your right side. From below your right arm pit, down your side and even down the outside of your right leg. Hold the pose for several breaths. Bounce in it a little if you want. Do it on the other side.
5. Another one I don’t have a name for – Twisty McGee’s – Feet Shoulder width apart. Exact position of your arms is not critical, find something that feels good to you. I raise my arms up below shoulder level, but above nipple level with my elbows sticking out and my hands facing each other. This puts your “wings” parallel to the floor. Use your right elbow to lead you and your whole body around towards your back. Keep your feet planted and try to twist around as far as you can. When you hit your max twist point, bounce there about 3 times. Then go to the left. Do each side 10 times. It sounds and seems (and is) really simple, but it really loosens up a lot of muscles in different places in one simple motion. You will be stretching your neck, parts of your upper body, your mid section, your hips, your knees, and I even get an occasional ankle pop out of the deal.
Next Time on Stretching: Standing Leg Stretches!
Good Stretching Article posted on my Facebark Page – i need to try these out to see if my this is my problem area
Stretches from Runner’s World – i just started doing some of these