Stretching Anywhere, AnytimeMarch 23, 2012
If you are like me you hate stretching. I don’t have time to fit in a complete workout let alone sit there and stretch. If you tell me to go lay down on a mat chances are I am just going to lay down and fall asleep. I may fake a few hamstring stretches or a few butterfly stretches to make myself think that I am actually doing something but the fact of the matter is is that I am really doing nothing but wasting my time. I know this so I generally skip the stretching part of my workout. But if you ask me if I stretch, my answer would be, everyday religiously and I would not be lying.
I have adapted my stretching routine to meet my busy life style. I need to stretch, I can feel it. I get stiff and sometimes just doing some general stretches helps. It doesn’t have to be a long, formal stretching routine. I find time all over the place to stretch and it wasn’t until recently when someone made me think about it that I realize how much I actually do stretch in a day.
I think that people do need to spend more time stretching. But I think the days of sitting down and doing a 15 minute stretching program are falling by the way side. Is that ideal? Yes. Is it happening, most likely not. So what I am going to share with you are stretches that can be done anytime, anywhere so that you able to get a good general stretch. Yes my thing is teaching people to do exercises and stretches that you can do anywhere and at anytime. If you learn to incorporate these tasks into everyday life then it won’t seem so daunting and they will become second nature as opposed to something you have to do. For more information on physical therapy services head to www.totalperformancept.com.
Before I give you the few, quick stretches, I do want to mention that these are general body stretches. Most of them are not muscle specific so they are not meant to replace specific stretching programs provided by a medical professional they are merely a few stretches to do throughout the day to get fluid flowing in the joints and muscles.
1. The frog – Squat down and get into the position like you are about to play leap frog. Let you head and shoulders fall forward and let your knees go as far out as they will go. Ideally hold this for at least 30 seconds.
2. Butt stretch – This can be done in sitting, standing or laying down. Cross your right ankle over your left knee. Push down gently on your left knee. Sit up nice and straight and lean forward keeping your back perfectly straight. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs. To do this in standing, grab your right knee and bring it to your chest. As you do that gently try to pull your right knee across your body. This can also be done this way laying down.
3. Overhead stretch – Stand in a door frame, reach your arms up as high as you can reach them. Plant your feet and then gently lean forward. Hold for 30 seconds.
4. Neck circles – gently rotate your neck in a clockwise and then counter clockwise direction. Repeat 10 times in one direction and then 10 times in the opposite direction.
5. Shoulder rolls – Gently roll your shoulders up, back and drop them down. Repeat 10 times.
6. Hamstring stretch – While standing, keep your leg straight and place it on a chair or a desk (the highest surface you can put it on without feeling pain). Then keep your back perfectly straight and lean forward. Hold for 30 seconds.
These stretches can be done all at once or one at a time throughout the day. And they can be done multiple times without cause for concern. However, remember that with stretching it should never hurt. It should feel good. If any of these hurt, seeking physical therapy is recommended. A physical therapist will be able to teach you a more complete, more individualized stretching program that will target specific muscles you are having trouble with. This is just an overview to get you started. Stretching is not a case of no pain, no gain, if it hurts you are damaging yourself.
For more information on physical therapy services head to www.totalperformancept.com.