Tuesday, 16 September 2014 00:00

Whether or not you are a runner, a bodybuilder, young kid or even a rocking grandpa/grandma, leg cramps or stiff legs aren't really the best of things for your body. Besides cardiovascular and strength fitness, flexibility too is important for your body's optimal function. Here are 6 rather basic stretches which most of us could re-learn and perform to loosen that tightness!

 Starting with the Hamstrings (aka those muscles at the back of your thighs):


1. Standing Double Hamstring Stretch

- Stand and bend over with knees straight.
- Reach toward toes or floor or bring torso toward legs. Hold stretch.
- Keep knees straight by tensing Quadriceps. Spine may be kept straight. Pelvis may be tilted forward to intensify stretch.


2. Standing Single Hamstring Stretch

- Place foot on bench or elevation.
- Reach toward foot on bench or bring torso toward leg. Hold stretch. Repeat with opposite leg.
- Avoid throwing leg up onto high elevation. Keep forward knee straight by tensing Quadriceps. Spine may be kept straight. Pelvis may be tilted forward to intensify stretch.


3. Seated Hamstring Stretch

- Sit on the floor with both legs out straight.
- Extend your arms and reach forward by bending at the waist as far as possible while keeping your knees straight.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds.
- Relax.
- Repeat.


Now, for the Quadriceps (aka your "thighs"):



1. Standing Quad Stretch

- Stand and touch wall or stationary object for balance. Grasp top ankle or forefoot behind. Pull ankle or forefoot to rear end.
- Straighten hip by moving knee backward. Hold stretch. Repeat with opposite side.


2. Kneeling Quad Stretch

- Position yourself with one knee on the floor and the other leg out in front with the knee bent and foot flat on the floor.
- Grasp the ankle of the back leg behind you.
- Lean forwards from the hips and at the same time pull the ankle towards your buttocks.
- When you can start to feel a stretch in the front thigh, hold the position.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat at least twice


3. Camel Pose

- Come up onto your knees. Take padding under your knees if they are sensitive.
- Draw your hands up the side of your body as you start to open your chest.
- Reach your hands back one at a time to grasp your heels.
- Bring your hips forward so that they are over your knees.
- Let your head come back, opening your throat.

This stretch has always been my #1 favorite all-time stretch ever-it opens your hips and relieves lower back pain.

With these pretty basic stretches, we hope that it'll aid you with your recovery as well as increase/maintain your flexibility even as you get older. :) 




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