Incorporating stretching into your wellness routine has numerous benefits for your body and mind. Here I will discuss my top 3 reasons why everyone can benefit from stretching and 5 easy-to-do stretches that target major muscle groups that are most likely tight right now (hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, calves, and chest).
Top 3 Reasons Why:
Guidelines for stretching
5 stretches you can do anywhere:
The following stretches are simple and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. If you’re not a daily stretcher, you can reap the benefits by stretching 2-3 times per week.
Hamstrings – standing forward fold, or seated forward fold. For either option, hinge at your hips, extend your spine and bend forward. You might keep your knees slightly bent. The goal is not to touch your toes, but to find a position where you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your upper thighs.
Hip flexors– To stretch your left hip flexors, lunge forward with your right leg, lower your left knee and lower leg to the ground, resting the top of your foot against the floor. Tuck your tailbone, gently press your hips forward, bending deeply into your right knee, making sure your right knee does not move past your right toes. You might cushion your left knee by placing a towel, mat or blanket underneath it.
Calves– From standing position, take a step forward with your left leg, lean into a wall for support by placing both palms against the wall at shoulder level. Bend your left knee, and press through your right heel, keeping your right leg straight.
Tara Shultis, MA, LMT, RYT