Stretching

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Stretching Tips & Exercises

  • Stretch every time you exercise or at least 3 times each week.
  • Remember to stretch before you leave for your walk and when you return home.
  • Do not hold your breath or bounce while stretching.
  • Extend your stretches until you feel a slight discomfort in your muscles and hold at this position.
  • You should not feel pain during any stretches. If you do, return to the original position and repeat the stretch more slowly, stopping when you reach slight discomfort.
  • Check with your physician before beginning any exercise program, including stretching.

Stretching Exercises courtesy of: ” Exercise: A Guide from the National Institute on Aging.


Hamstring Stretch

Sitting

  • For a sitting stretch, sit sideways on a hard surface and stretch out one leg, keeping toes pointed up.
  • Place your other foot flat on the floor and straighten your back.
  • >If you do not feel a stretch, lean forward slightly until you feel stretching in your leg, keeping your back and shoulders straight. Hold position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat with other leg.

Standing

  • For a standing stretch, stand behind a chair and hold it with both hands.
  • Bend forward using your hips (not your waist) until your upper body is parallel to the floor, keeping your back and shoulders straight.
  • Remember to keep your head above your heart.
  • >Hold position for 30 seconds.
  • >Repeat with other leg.

Quadricep Stretch

Lying Down

  • For a lying stretch, lie on your side and align your hips so that one is directly above the other.
  • Bend the knee that is on top as far as you are able.
  • Reach behind you and hold your heel, gently pulling until you feel stretching in the front of your thigh. “
  • Hold position for 30 seconds.
  • Roll to other side and repeat with other leg.

Single and Double Hip Rotation

One Hip at a Time

  • For single hip rotation, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat.
  • Lower one knee slowly to the side, while keeping the other knee in place.
  • Hold position for 30 seconds.
  • Slowly return your knee to the center and repeat with other leg.

Both Hips Together

  • For double hip rotation, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat.
  • Lower legs to one side as far as you can while keeping knees together.
  • Hold position for 30 seconds.
  • Slowly return your knees to the center and repeat to the other side.

Neck Rotation

  • Lie down, placing your head on a phone book or other thick book.
  • Slowly turn your head from side to side, holding on each side for 30 seconds.

Wrist Stretch

  • Place your hands together, as if in a praying position.
  • Slowly raise your elbows so that they are parallel with the ground.
  • Hold position for 30 seconds.

Shoulder Rotation

  • Lie flat and place a pillow under your head, keeping your legs straight.
  • Stretch your arms straight out to the side.
  • Bend your elbows so that your hands are pointed upwards, then slowly roll your arms backwards as far as you are able.
  • Hold position for 30 seconds.
  • Slowly roll your arms so that your hands are pointed upwards again.
  • Slowly roll your arms forwards as far as you are able, so that your hands are pointing towards your hips.
  • Hold position for 30 seconds.