Sometimes all it takes is a list.
A few simple things presented clearly to get us motivated to complete a task.
The same can be said for fitness. Sometimes, all it takes is a list of stretching flexibility exercises to get us started on a path to a healthier, more flexible and more stress free life.
Stretch 1: Neck Roll
Neck rolls are not just a fabulous way of releasing stress, but they also help stretch the muscles in your neck, shoulder and back of the head. This stretch can be done just about anywhere, anytime you feel stress.
Begin by finding a position of good posture. Either sit or stand with a straight, but not over-arched back. Gently and slowly roll your neck forward, allowing yourself to relax your muscles. Continue by rolling your neck, slowly and carefully, to the right side, then back, then left side, finally terminating the stretch at the starting position. This stretch may be repeated several times. The key is to perform this stretch slowly.
Stretch 2: Shoulder Rolls
Like neck rolls, shoulder rolls are an excellent way to relieve stress, as well as strengthen the range of mobility in the neck, shoulders and upper spine. Shoulder rolls are an outstanding warm-up and cool-down to any exercise or fitness activity.
Begin with a good posture, either sitting or standing, with a straight but not over-arched back. Gently and slowly roll the shoulders forward, up, back and finally to the starting position. Rest. Repeat this stretch 5 to 15 times depending on individual stress and tightness. Do not overstretch. This stretch should be done slowly and easily to improve range of motion and relieve stress. Shoulder rolls can also be done by alternating shoulders.
Stretch 3: Rotation Stretch
This is an outstanding stretch to lengthen the back and spine, as well as aide in overall posture.
Sitting with a straight but not over-arched back, while exhaling, rotate at the hips by moving the right shoulder toward the left to the point of tightness. Gently place the right hand on the left knee and hold this position for 5 to 15 seconds. Rest. Repeat this stretch on the other side. Rest. This stretch may be repeated several times. Be sure to perform this stretch slowly and carefully, only to the point of tightness.
Stretch 4: Knee to Chest
Knee to Chest stretches are an excellent way to stretch and lengthen upper leg and lower back muscles. Begin by lying on the floor with the legs bent. Slowly lift up the right knee toward the chest. Gently hold the leg at the back of the knee and pull toward the chest, to the point of tightness. Release and rest. Repeat with the other leg. This exercise may be repeated 5 to 15 times. Be sure to perform this stretch slowly as it is meant to loosen and lengthen muscles and relieve stress build up.
Stretch 5: Ankle and Wrist Rolls
We often don’t think about it, but our ankles and wrists really take a beating. One way to ease the tension is with ankle and wrists rolls. Simple to do, these stretches can be performed virtually anywhere.
Ankle Rolls: Begin by rolling the ankle forward to the point of tightness. Slowly roll to the left, then toward the body (flex) then to the right and finally to the starting position. Repeat with the other foot. This stretch can be repeated several times and, as with the other stretches described, should be performed slowly so as to enjoy the full benefit of the stretch.
Wrist Rolls: Begin by gently rolling the wrist to the left, down, to the right, and finally back to the beginning position. Be sure not to rotate your arms. Repeat this stretch with both hands together, or with alternating hands several times. This roll assists not just the wrists, but also the lower arms and hands.
Just A Simple Stretch
It is amazing the rejuvenating quality of just a simple stretch. Now, with your list of stretching flexibility exercises, it is easier than ever to relieve stress and improve flexibly and mobility. As with all exercise regimens, be sure to contact your medical professional, should you have any questions.
Mayo Clinic: Stretching: Focus on Flexibility – www.mayoclinic.com/health
Stretching Exercises for Flexibility – www.shapefit.com