Monday, July 9, 2012

Upper And Lower Body Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises is a must before and after your workout. Performed consistnetly, stretching exercises helps reduce your risk of injuring muscles and tendons. It also improves blood circulation and increases your flexibility and your range of motion, which promotes good balance.

Stretching help relieve the muscle tension that often accompanies stress. Relieve muscle tightness and stiffness. You can incorporate easy-to-perform stretches into your workout routine.

Here are basic stretching exercises to build flexibility in the chest, shoulders, back, arms and legs. Try these exercises after a workout or anytime throughout the day for flexibility and relaxation.

*Chest and Shoulder Stretch

Clasp your hands together behind your back, arms straight. Gently lift your hands towards the ceiling, as high as comfortably possible. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders and chest. You can perform this exercise sitting or standing.

*Shoulder Stretch

Sit or stand, interlock your fingers and reach above your head. Your lower back should be flat or slightly arched inwards.

*Triceps Stretch

Place your left hand behind your head and reach as far down your back as possible. With your right hand grasp your left elbow and gently pull it behind the back of your head. You can perform this exercise sitting or standing. Switch sides and repeat.

*Lower Back Stretch

Lie flat on your back then place the sole of your right foot on your left thigh. Grasp your right knee with your left hand and gently roll it to the left. Try to get your knee as close to the floor as possible without your right shoulder leaving the floor.

*Groin Stretch (Standing)

Stand with your feet about 2 meters apart, toes pointing forward. Gradually shift all your weight to your right leg by bending your right knee. Your left leg stays straight. Place both your hands on your right knee for support. You can increase the starting distance between your feet for a greater stretch.

*Groin Stretch (Sitting)

Sit down and place the soles of your feet together. Clasp your ankles with your hands so that your elbows rest on your knees. Gently push your knees down with your elbows until your fell the stretch.

*Quadriceps Stretch

Stand and hold onto a wall for balance (or chair) if needed. Grab the top of the right foot and bend your knee, bringing the foot towards the buttocks, knee pointing straight at the floor. You should feel a stretch right down the front of your leg. Squeeze your hips forward for a deeper stretch. Repeat for the other leg.

*Hamstring Stretch (Sitting)

While sitting down, stretch your legs out in front of you while keeping your back flat and upright. Bend your left leg keeping your left foot flat on the floor. Slowly reach forward and try to touch your right toe with both hands. Bend from your waist keeping your lower back flat and your head up. Repeat for the other leg.

*Hamstring Stretch (Standing)

Here is another one, while in a standing position take your left foot forward and tip from the hips, keeping the back flat. Lower down until you feel a stretch in the back of the leg. Repeat on the other side.

*Calf Stretch

Stand arms length away from a wall and with feet shoulder width apart. Place your right foot about 2 feet in front of your left. Keeping both heels flat on the ground lean towards the wall by bending your right knee. Your left leg should stay straight. Push gently against the wall for a deeper stretch. Repeat for the left leg. 

*Achilles Stretch

This is exactly the same procedure as Calf Stretch as you lean towards the wall let both knees bend. Rather than leaning forward you should feel like you are lowering yourself straight down. Remember to keep both heels flat on the floor. Repeat for the other leg.

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