No time for stretches? Don’t worry. I’ve made a quick stretch routine that you can do anywhere that covers the most commonly tight areas. Let’s get limber!
These much ignored muscles can be the root of knee pain. We forget that we walk around on them all day! Footwear can contribute immensely to tight calves, such as high heels often shorten the length of the calves, which are then forced to lengthen when you change shoes or go barefoot. Check out: Are high heels really bad for you?
Stretch: Lean forward into a wall, keeping your feet pointing straight forward and back heel pressing to the floor. Think of creating a straight line from your ears to your ankle bone.
Don’t: Let your knees go knock-knee (fall in)
Common daily movements with our arms (texting, keyboard, driving) create overactive and tight muscles on the front of our bodies, pulling us into a rounded (kyphotic) position. This can happen without even feeling like we really ‘worked’ them. Kyphosis info.
Stretch: Place forearm from elbow to hand in a doorway (arm at 90 degrees ). Gently lean forward through your chest and rotate away from the doorway
Don’t: Shrug or stand too close to doorway
Your hips are essentially the base that your body works around. When movement in your hips gets reduced, all kinds of aches and pains can be felt elsewhere in your body. Hip movement info.
Stretch: Cross one ankle over the opposite knee and lean forward with your upper body.
Don’t: Round your back as you lean forward
Commonly tight from long periods of sitting (aka working), these muscles can cause havoc on your low back. They can also be the reason your core doesn’t work as well as you would like it to. Lower back info.
Stretch: Step front toe out beyond front knee. Place dowel in front of opposite hip, in line with front heel. Push dowel down into floor (engage core) and gently lean forward. This will also stretch your thigh muscles (quadriceps).
Don’t: Arch your lower back, rather tuck your tailbone under like someone is pinching your bum
Stretch: Sit up straight and gently drop your ear towards that shoulder. You can increase the stretch by gently pressing down with the heel of your opposite hand
Don’t: Try to overdo it. It should be a slow and gentle stretch
The best way to insure a more consistent stretching routine is to associate the stretches with something you do daily.
Stretch your pectorals as you walk through your doorway, calves as you brush your teeth, glutes as you read or watch tv, neck as you check emails and hip flexors just before bed.