Workout Stretch

20 MINUTE FULL BODY STRETCH ROUTINE

Why is Flexibility so Important?

When you are flexible, your blood is able to flow more freely through the muscles that are no constricted. The increased blood flow adds to the energy your body is already producing. Flexibility is the best prevention for injury.

By increasing your flexibility, it will help to relieve or improve:

>>Back pain and stiffness
>>Shoulder pain and stiffness
>>Hip pain and stiffness
>>Knee pain
>>Muscle soreness
>>Exercise form
>>Elimination
>>Organ function
>>Muscle strength
>>Sleep

INSTRUCTIONS: Do this routine once a day, 5 - 7 days a week for the rest of your life!
This stretching routine, along with proper nutrition and regular exercise is all you'll ever need to get into great shape.

What do you think about that?!
1.  Hamstring Stretch on a Chair
 
 
 
 
 
The Hamstring Stretch on a Chair isolates the hamstring muscles as you reach to touch your toes! This is an exercise that I encourage you to do at the beginning and at the end of your workout.

1. Put the chair open in front of you.
2. Put your right heel on the seat of the chair with your leg straight, and lean forward with both hands, and try to touch your toes. If you can't touch your toes then reach as far as you can and grab hold of your leg.
3. Your knee can be slightly bent, but try to keep it a straight as possible.
4. Make sure the hips are facing forward like the headlights on a car. This will help you get the best stretch.
5. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs.

Instructions:
30 seconds x 2 on each side
As you become more flexible, you can use something taller to put your leg on to give you a greater stretch.
foot-on-a-chair-300x220.jpg
2.  Kneeling Quad Stretch
kneeling quad stretch 1.jpg
The Kneeling Quad Stretch is great for not only stretching the quads, but you will feel a mild stretch in your hip flexors.This way will save you time trying to do each quad individually.

1. Using a mat is best unless you have carpet.
2. Kneel on the mat with your knees hip-width apart and toes pointed out.
3. Gently lean back and reach to touch your heels with your fingertips. If you are more flexible, you can rest your hand son your heels.
4. Contract your abdominal muscles and keep your body as straight as you possibly can.
5. Hold for 30 seconds with long deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Instructions:
30 seconds x 2
3.  Hip Flexor Stretch
hip flexor stretch.jpg
This stretch will really loosen up your hip flexors and will also give your quads a mild stretch and will also help you do other exercises with ease and flexibility.

1. Place a sturdy chair in front of you and bring your left foot forward.
Make sure the knee is directly above the heel.
2. Slide your right leg back until you feel a stretch in your hip flexor.
3. Make sure you don’t lean your torso forward. Keep your upper body and your arms straight.
4. Push your hips forward and keep them facing straight ahead,maintaining that straight from knee to heel.
5. Breathe naturally and hold.
6. To come up, push forward and press all your weight in the heel of the front leg to help you up.
7. Switch legs.

Instructions:
30 seconds x 2 on each side
You can also do a gentle pulse for a count of 30 instead of a hold.
4.  Seated Spine Twist
seated spine twist.jpg
The Seated Spine Twist is a great exercise/stretch to loosen your spine, get your blood flowing, work on your obliques,and helping with digestion.
1. Sit on the floor with a mat with legs shoulder-width apart
2. Cross your right leg over your left (as in the picture) and make sure that your foot is flat on the floor.
3. Gently twist the torso toward the right extending your right arm and hand behind you on the floor for balance and support.
4. Turn head gently to the right facing out.
Be careful not to twist the neck too far back.
5. Grab hold of your right leg to stabilize the twist and hold.

You can even put the elbow on the outer side of the leg for a more intense stretch.

Instructions:
30 seconds x 2 on each side
5.  Half Bridge
half bridge.jpg
The half-bridge flexes your spine strengthens your glutes and hamstrings as well as helps with bringing balance to the body.

1. Start with your back on the ground and your hands at your sides with palms flat on the floor.
Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
2. Lift your hips up to the sky and bring your hands underneath you.
3. Squeeze your glutes at tight as you can and hold while trying to bring your chest to your chin.
4. Be sure not to let your knees open too far. There should be the same distance between your knees as between your feet.
5. Breathe naturally.

Instructions:
2 x's 30 seconds
6.  Piriformis Stretch
Piraformus Stretch.jpg
This stretch loosens up your hips, butt, and low back.
If you feel stiff when you walk or if you have had leg injuries, it can be attributed to a tight piriformis.

1. Lie down on your back, knees bent, with your feet on the ground.
2. Take your right ankle and place it on your left quadriceps just below the knee.
3. Reach between your legs with your right hand and grab the back of your left leg.
4. Grab the other side of your left leg with your left hand.
5. Pull your left leg toward you.
You should feel the stretch at the bottom of your right leg and into the glutes.
6. Hold and then switch legs.
Instructions:

At least 30 seconds X 2 on each side

Tips:
*If you can't reach behind your leg, use a hand towel and put it behind your leg, and pull.
*Bring your shoulders off the floor for a more intense stretch.
7.  Side, Hip and Glute Stretch
figure four.jpg
I also call the Figure 4 Stretch, due to the positioning of the body.  This stretch will loosen up your back, your hips, and your Gluteus Minimus (outer glute) quickly and safely!

1. Start by lying on your back with your arms straight out level with your shoulders and palms down flat on the floor.
2. Bend your left knee into a 90* angle and then cross it over to the right side of the body (as shown in the picture).
3. Grab hold of your left knee with your right hand, but keep the knee lifted and bent and gently press down creating a nice stretch in the hip, glute and side.
4. Make sure to keep your shoulders flat on the floor and the left arm stays extended straight out with your face turned to the left.
5. Hold for at least 30 seconds
6. Switch and repeat with the other leg.

Instructions:
30 seconds x 2 on each side
To wrap it up:
Not only are these some of the best stretches you can do for flexibility, but they are my favorites.  I highly recommend doing them at least 5 days a week for the benefits mentioned on the first page.

You'll also feel better, have more energy, you'll no longer be stiff and sore, and you'll even feel younger when your body is flexible like it should be.

These stretches are a vital part of achieving good health, along with proper nutrition and regular exercise.

I truly hope you benefit from them as much as I do.

Be blessed

Colene
Health & Fitness Strategist
Sandy Beach