You know you need to stretch more, but your body just won’t cooperate with you! You go down to touch your toes and you have shooting pains down your leg. Does this sound familiar?
Below are 5 stretches that are gentle on your body, but increase flexibility and range of motion.
Start slowly with each stretch, going just to the point where you feel tightness. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds – relaxing into the stretch. If your breathing tends to get shallow, you are probably pushing into it too hard.
Keep your spine in a neutral position with your abs pulled in slightly, chest lifted, and shoulders down away from the ears. Need a visual? Think if there was a string attached at the top of your head, and your string was being pulled upward. The motion is subtle – you want it to feel comfortable.
1. Quadriceps Stretch: Keep knees adjacent to each other and don’t let your back arch.
2. Runner’s Lunge: Press your front heel down into floor, so your knee stays behind toes.
3. Inner Thigh Stretch: Stand with your feet wider than your shoulders.
4. Hip Stretch: Gently push your top knee down away from you and slightly lean forward.
5. Hamstring Stretch: Don’t push to far – just to the point of tightness (no pain).