10 Daily Stretches
This series of stretches is for a general all over stretch. You will experience the most benefit if you perform these stretches once a day, 3-4 times a week. However if you are pressed for time, just pick the ones that will help the most, and perform the rest at a later time.
1. Neck – Scalenes and Upper Trapezius Muscles
Place hand on side of head, breath in and gently bring your left ear towards you left shoulder until you start to feel a stretch along the right side of your neck. Add slight pressure to increase the stretch while breathing out. Hold for 10-15 sec, return to neutral, repeat 3 times both sides.
2. Chest – Pectoral Muscles
Reach behind your back and grasp your hands together, pull back and down. Hold 10-15 sec, repeat 3 times.
Find a narrow doorway, place palms about shoulder height on door jam, place one foot in front of the other and lean forwards. Hold for 10-15 sec, repeat 3 times.
3. Flank – Internal and External Oblique Muscles
Sit upright in a chair or stand with your feet slightly apart. Interlock your hands behind your head with elbows in a straight line, move right elbow towards your right hip. Hold 10-15 sec, repeat 3 times both sides.
4. Forearm – Finger Flexor
Flexor - Sit or stand upright, flex left elbow to 90 degrees, extend wrist as far as possible, point fingers upwards. With right hand push fingers on left hand towards the elbow, hold 10-15 sec, repeat 3 times both sides.
4. Forearm – Finger Extensor Muscles
Extensor - Sit or stand upright, turn left arm so the palm faces up, flex left elbow to 90o and wrist to 90 degrees, flex fingers so they point to elbow. Place right hand on top of ingers and press down gently towards forearm, hold 10-15 sec, repeat 3 times each side.
5. Back – Errector Spainae Muscles
Stand tall, breath in and lengthen through your spine, relax your neck and shoulders. Bend forwards at the waist, bend your knees slightly and let your body, head and arms hang and relax, hold 10-15 sec, repeat 3 times.
6. Thigh – Quadricep Muscles
Stand in a neutral position, use a chair to balance, breath in and lift your heel to your bottom, keep your back straight and stomach tight, extend your hip. Hold 10-15 sec, repeat 3 times both sides.
7. Thigh – Hamstring Muscles
Sitting on floor stretch one leg out in front of you and tuck the other foot into inner thigh. Slowly bring your chest down towards your knee until you feel a light stretch in the back of your leg, hold 10-15 sec, repeat 3 times each leg.
9. Spine Rotators
Sitting on floor, keep your back straight, cross one leg over the other, relax spine, breath out, rotate your spine towards your bent leg using your arm against your knee as leverage. Rotate your head and try to look over your shoulder, hold 10-15 sec, repeat 3 times each side.
10. Gluteus Maximus Stretch
Lying on your back rise your right knee to 90 degrees, keep left leg straight on floor. Bring right knee towards left shoulder until you feel a stretch in your right buttocks, hold 10-15 sec, repeat 3 times each side.
*Photography by Ash Nayler.