This week I want to remind you of the importance of not only strength, but flexibility when it comes to fitness. Some of my clients recently have experienced the joy/pain of my flexibility band!
Whether you have had an exercise session today or not, your body will need a STRETCH.
Did you know:
- Simply sitting down at a desk all day will tighten your hip flexors (top of the thigh) which will cause your glutes to lengthen to compensate, causing possible hip pain.
- Sitting slouched will also cause more pressure on your intervertebral discs in the lumbar spine (lower back) which can cause lower back pain and stiffness.
- Stretching specific areas for up to 60 seconds each regularly (at least every other day, or when tight) can help posture improvement, reduce muscle soreness and improve circulation and help to heal and prevent back and knee pain..
… So why wouldn’t you do it?!
6 Key areas to stretch:
Erector spinae (the muscles either side of spine). Lie down and bring both knees up to your chest by grabbing either around your knees if you don’t have any knee pain, or underneath if you do have knee pain. Then tuck in your chin and hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
Hamstrings Lie on the floor on your back. Loop a long bath towel around your toes and hold the ends of the towel in both hands. Slowly pull on the towel to lift your straight leg up. Bring your leg up until a stretch is felt behind your thigh. Hold for 30 seconds, and then relax.
Glutes Lie flat on your back and bend both knees. Cross one leg over the other so your foot is on the opposite knee. Bring both knees towards your chest and gently pull the uncrossed leg towards you until you feel a stretch in your buttock. Hold for 30 secs
Hip flexors Kneel on your left knee.Lean forward, stretching your left hip toward the floor. Squeeze your bum UNDER; this will allow you to stretch your hip flexor even more. Then, rotate your torso open to the left. Hold 30 secs if you can, then repeat on other side.
Calves Stand near a wall with one foot in front of the other, front knee slightly bent. Keep your back knee straight, your heel on the ground, and lean toward the wall. Feel the stretch all along the calf of your back leg. Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds.
Upper back. Hold arms straight infront of you, twist so palms face outwards. And place palms of hands together. Interlace fingers and round the upperback. Push hands fowards, away from you to feel your upper back opening. Drop chin and hold thisposition for 20-30 seconds
These are just a few ideas, but give them a go each eve to relax you before bed, or each morning to wake up and set you up for the day! Do this for a week and see how much better you feel.