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Traditional Stretches

Nov 8th, 2011

Hamstring stretch

Hamstring Stretch: Standing on your left leg, hug your right knee into your chest. Keep your upper body vertical, and use your core strength for balance. Gently release, and repeat on the other side.


Quadricep stretch

Quadricep Stretch: Standing on your left leg, kick your right foot toward your tailbone, and grip the outside of the right foot with the right hand. Reach for the wall or the back of a chair with your left hand to assist with your balance. Keep your knees on the same plane, and tuck your pelvis under to lengthen the quadriceps and hip flexor. Gently release, and repeat to the other side.


Calf stretch

Calf Stretch: Leaning against a wall or chair, send the right leg out behind you and bend your left leg. Stretch the right heel toward the floor to lengthen the calf muscle. Switch sides. 



Lunge: Bend your front leg to a 90 degree angle, with the knee directly over the ankle; lengthen your back leg straight out behind you, placing the ball of your foot on the floor. Come up to the fingertips, and lengthen the back as you lower the hips. Think about creating one straight line from the crown of your head to the heel of your back foot. 


Butterfly stretch

Butterfly Stretch: Sitting on the floor, bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Grip the outside of your feet as you press your knees down toward the ground. Sit up straight and soften the hips. 


Standing straddle stretch

Standing Straddle Stretch: Stand with your legs about 4-5 feet apart, with your feet parallel to one another. Hinge forward from the hips, reaching for your calves, ankles, or outside of your feet. Roll your weight forward, with your hips over your heels. To properly come out of the pose, slightly bend your knees, engage your abdominal core, and lengthen up to standing with a flat back.


Single leg hamstring stretch

Single Leg Hamstring Stretch: Sit with your back straight, left leg extended in front of you, and right leg bent with foot against the inside of the left leg. Maintaining a flat back, hinge from the hips over the extended leg; grasp the calf, ankle, or sole of the left foot. Keep the shoulders down away from the ears and try to maintain a neutral neck position. Switch legs.


Seated cross legged twist

Seated Cross Legged Twist: Sit with your back straight, left leg extended in front of you, and right leg bent with sole of the foot on the floor; cross the right foot over the left knee or thigh. Grasp your right knee with your left hand and gently pull to twist your upper body to the right; place the right hand on the floor behind you. With every inhalation, sit taller, and with every exhalation, twist deeper, as if you were wringing out a towel. Gaze over the right shoulder. Switch sides.


Reclining hamstring stretch

Reclining Hamstring Stretch: Lying on your back, bend your left leg and place the foot on the floor. Straighten the right leg, and extend it up to the sky. Grip the back of the thigh, calf, or ankle, and gently pull the leg toward your chest. Hold for 5-10 breaths, and then switch legs.


Neck stretch

Neck Stretch: Drop your head toward your left shoulder, stretching the right side of the neck. Reach your left hand up and over your head, and bring it to the right ear, gently deepening the stretch.  Hold for 3-5 breaths, and then switch sides. 


Tricep stretch

Tricep Stretch: Bring your right arm up to the sky, and bend your elbow, reaching the hand down to the shoulder. Use the left fingers to press your right elbow back to lengthen the tricep. Hold for 3-5 breaths, and then switch sides.


Shoulder stretch

Shoulder Stretch: Extend the right arm across your chest at shoulder height, hook your left hand to the outside of your right elbow, and press it toward your chest. 


Chest expansion

Chest Expansion: Stand straight, feet parallel, hip-width apart. Interlace your fingers behind you.
(Option to grasp a towel or strap if you cannot interlace your fingers). Begin to straighten the arms, as the hands come away from the tailbone; chest expands upwards.