STRETCHES and examples
Lie on one side with your elbow directly below your shoulder and your hips stacked. Grasp the foot of your top leg and pull your heel towards your gluteals (your bottom). You will feel a stretch in the front of your upper leg. When the stretching sensations fades, pinch your gluteals and push your hips forward to deepen the stretch. Hold until the muscle is relaxed.
Lying on your back, put one foot on the floor and take the other leg up straight into the air. Make sure that the knee is straight. You may have to lower your leg to keep the knee straight. You will feel a stretch in the back of your upper leg. Hold until tension is gone. Repeat with the other leg.
Sit on the floor with your left leg outstretched. Put the foot of your right leg outside the knee of your left leg.
Take your left arm along the outside of your right leg, and pull your right leg to the left. Turn your body to the right to deepen the stretch. Hold until the muscles are relaxed. Repeat with the other side.
INNER THIGH STRETCH
Sitting, bend both knees and place the bottoms of your feet together. Let your knees fall out to the sides. Let the weight of your arms assist in the stretch, but don't actively push down on your legs. You will feel a stretch in the inner thigh of each leg. Hold until the muscles are relaxed.
LOW BACK STRETCH
Lying on your back, pull one or both knees up to your chest, holding them with your hands. You will feel a stretch in your lower back. If you are doing one leg at a time, hold until you feel a release on one side, and then switch sides. Hold until the muscles are relaxed.
GASTROCNEMIUS (LARGE CALF MUSCLE) STRETCH
Facing a wall, place your hands on the wall and take one leg out behind you in a lunge position, with your back leg straight. Bend your front knee until it is over your ankle. You will feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg.Image Hold until the muscle is relaxed. Repeat with the other leg.
SOLEUS (SMALL CALF MUSCLE) STRETCH
Facing a wall, place your hands on the wall and take one leg behind you in a lunge position, as in the gastrocnemius stretch above. Then bring your back foot in about 2", and allow your back knee to bend, giving you a stretching sensation in the smaller calf muscle. Hold until the muscle is relaxed. Repeat with the other leg.
Facing a wall, place one arm on the wall. Then turn away from the outstretched arm until you feel a stretching sensation in the chest muscles. Hold until the muscles are relaxed. Repeat on the other side.
Standing tall, with thumbs pointing up, take both arms out to your sides. Push backwards slightly until you feel the stretch in the chest muscles. Hold until the muscles are relaxed.
Facing a wall, put the toes of the affected foot up against the wall as shown. Bend that knee and allow it to get close to the wall. You will feel a stretch along the bottom of the foot.
Position yourself on a mat on all fours, with hands below shoulders, and knees below hips.
Gently arch back up like a cat until you feel a stretch in your mid- and low-back.
Hold that stretch until the muscles are relaxed. Alternatively, after you are positioned on the mat, put one knee into the quadrant of space that your hands and knees create. Then do the cat stretch, and do as well with the other knee in the quadrant.
Standing or seated, push your hands, with palms facing outwards, away from your body until you feel a stretch in your mid-upper back
Standing or seated, turn your thumbs downward, and take both arms out to the side. Keep your hands at shoulder level or slightly below. You will feel a stretch in the front of your upper arm. Hold until the muscles are relaxed.
Standing, flex one arm so that you can touch the back of your neck with your fingers. Taking the other hand across the front of your body, gently push on your flexed arm, aiming the elbow towards the ceiling. Your will feel a stretch in the back of your upper arm. Hold until the muscle is relaxed. Repeat with the other arm.
SIDE NECK STRETCH NOTE: As with all stretches, be gentle with your neck stretches. This is a delicate area.
Sit or stand with your chest up and looking straight ahead. Reach over your head with your right hand. Gently pull your head over to the right side. Hold this until the muscles are relaxed. Repeat this on the other side. DO NOT apply pressure with your involved hand. Instead allow the weight of your hand to assist the stretch. If you feel pain or pinching on the right side doing this, stop. You are no longer stretching but stressing the joints.
NECK EXTENSOR STRETCH
Sit with your chest up and look straight ahead. Gently push back your chin to create a "double" chin. Use your other hand to gently pull the top of your head forward and down. Continue until you feel relaxation through the back of your neck.
SCALENE NECK STRETCH
Sit with your chest up forward on the edge of a chair. Hold the leg or seat of the chair tightly with one hand to keep the ribs down. Bend your head to the opposite side without flexing your head forward. You may find you get more of a stretch if you rotate your head slightly toward the hand that is holding onto the chair and slightly tilt your head backward as you bend to the side.
UPPER TRAPEZIUS STRETCH
Sit with your chest up and hold onto the chair with one hand. Turn your chin toward the hand that is holding onto the chair. Use your free hand to gently pull your head straight toward the opposite side. To feel more stretch, lean your body slightly away from the hand that is holding onto the chair to depress your shoulder further.
STERNOCLEIDOMASTOID MUSCLE STRETCH
Sit tall with your chest up. Rotate your head to one side. Bend your neck to the opposite side.
Extend your head back while maintaining side bend and rotation
FOREARM FLEXOR STRETCH (PRAYER STRETCH)
Put your palms together, with fingers slightly spread open. Lower your hands a few inches until you feel a stretch in the
inside of your forearms. When that stretching feeling lessens, point your fingers outward to deepen the stretch. Hold until your flexors are lengthened and you don't feel any stress in them.
FOREARM EXTENSOR STRETCH
Straighten the arm you want to stretch. Use the hand of the other arm to gently push the involved hand downward, so that your fingers face the floor. You will feel the stretch as indicated by the red line. Hold until your extensors are lengthened and you don't feel any stress in them.