Stretching Guide


Stretches

It is important that after the workout to spend a few minutes stretching. Here is a guide of exercises you may use in your stretching routine:

Upper back For stretching the muscles between the shoulder blades, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend over at the waist approximately 90 degrees, knees slightly bent. Wrap your right hand around your left knee and grab it while the palm and fingers are behind the knee. Keeping your right knee bent, slowly straighten your left leg while lifting your right shoulder straight up to the ceiling. You should feel a powerful stretch in the rhomboid muscles between your shoulder blades. Hold for 30 seconds, then reverse the move to stretch your left side.

Lower back Lie on your back, and draw your right knee to your chest. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat with your left knee, then with both knees simultaneously.

Shoulders Stand with your back to an open door, about 18 inches in front of, and slightly to the left of, the door frame, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Reach with your right arm and grab the door frame at waist level. Lean forward until there is little tension on the arm, then rotate your torso away from that arm and hold that position for 10 to 20 seconds. Straighten up, walk your fingers 6 inches up the frame and do the stretch again. Repeat the exercises five times while increasing the height about 6 inches each time. Move to the right side of the door frame and go over with the left arm.

Chest Standing slightly in front of a door, hold your arms out to your sides at shoulder height. Bend your elbows and place your inner forearms against the door frame. Keeping your arms in this pose, take a small step forward so you feel the stretch in your chest muscles. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then step back into the beginning position, keeping your forearms pressed against the door frame. Press both your elbows against the door frame as if you're trying to put them together in front of you. You should feel a contraction in your chest muscles.

Biceps Stand with your back to an open door, arms at your sides, palms facing forward. Swing your right hand behind you, reaching through the door frame and placing your palm against the wall on the other side. To emphasize the stretch, turn your body slightly to the left. You should feel the stretch in your right arm and shoulder. Hold for 6 to 10 seconds and repeat this sequence 1 or 2 times, then repeat with your left arm.

Triceps Sitting in a chair with your back straight, bend your right elbow and try to touch your right palm to your right shoulder blade. Your elbow should be near your head and pointed straight up at the ceiling. With your arm in that pose, bring your left hand up over your head and wrap it around your right elbow. Now push your right elbow downward, providing resistance with your left hand. Hold for 6 to 10 seconds and perform this three times with your right arm, then three times with the left.

Forearms Get down on all fours. Turn your hands out to the sides 180 degrees, until your fingertips are pointing toward your knees. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, leaning back in order to increase the stretch.

Abdominals Stay lying on your stomach, arms extended in front of you with your hands shoulder-width apart, palms down. Now slowly lift your shoulders off the ground by pushing yourself up with your arms, arching your back and keeping your pelvis flat on the floor as you rise. If you can, rise up until your elbows are locked. Hold at the top as you slowly exhale, then go back down. Do 10 repetitions and if this is too difficult, try doing the stretching with your forearms flat on the floor.

Author

Fitness Expert

Written by Fitness Expert

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