The majority of people probably only stretch when a muscle is sore or in pain and maybe quickly after a workout. Stretching helps to increase your range of motion and flexibility in your muscles and joints, as well as, relieves tension and improves circulation. When we do stretch, we tend to do the same stretches every time. Well here are 3 stretches that you aren’t currently doing, but should be.
Lunge Hold with Foot Tilt
This stretch targets the hip flexor (think groin area) on the back leg and hip abductors on the front leg (IT band area). Our hip flexors tend to really get tight from sitting for hours at a time. If your hip flexors are too tight, it can pull on your pelvis, resulting in your hips becoming misaligned.
Step your right foot back and bend your left knee. Make sure that that your left knee and toes are aligned. Keep your right leg straight.
Sink as low into your lunge as possible, placing both hands on the ground to the inside of your left foot.
Turn your left foot to the left about 30 degrees and shift the weight onto the outer part of your foot.
For more of a challenge, raise your arm up.
Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. Repeat with your left foot back.
Overhead Chest Openers
This stretches out your pectoral muscles (chest) and rolls your shoulders back. You may even feel your shoulder blades pinching together. When your pectoral muscles are tight, it’ll result in rounded shoulders, giving the illusion that you are slouching, even if you are standing up straight. This stretch will help correct bad posture. You will need a strap or a towel for this stretch.
Grabbing a strap or towel with both hands, straight arms out in front of you.
Raise arms overhead, keeping your arms as straight as possible.
Stretch your arms as far back as you can.
Hold this position for 30-60 seconds
To stretch your obliques, tilt to one side and hold
Supine Figure 4 with Straight Leg
This stretch targets the piriformis, a muscle that runs from your sacrum (back of your pelvis) to the outside of your upper femur (thigh bone) and the hamstrings (back of your thigh). A lot of low back pain is caused by tight hamstrings pulling on the pelvis. A tight piriformis can also result in low back pain
, but also sciatica.
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet close to your butt.
Cross your left leg over your right, with your left ankle above your right knee.
Clasp your hands behind your right leg, pulling it in towards your chest.
Straighten your right leg
Hold this position for 60 seconds. Repeat with your right leg.