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Stretch and Hydrate Challenge

Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds and continue throughout the series.  Be sure you warm-up first and that you aren't just waking up and stretching.  Do your 30 min. workout first, go for a walk, or at least do some jogging in place and jumping jacks for 2 mins to get your body warm.

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Seated Stretch


Muscles Stretched: Spinal flexors, obliques

Directions:

  1.  Sit with legs extended straight in front of you.

  2. Cross your right leg over your left, planting your right foot outside your left knee.

  3. Twist to the right, placing your left elbow outside your right knee, and look over your shoulder. Hold, then repeat on other side.

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Figure-Four Stretch


Muscles Stretched: Piriformis (a gluteal muscle)

Directions:

  1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet pressed into the ground.

  2. Cross your left ankle over your right knee, and then reach your hands around your right thigh.

  3. Pull your right thigh towards you (keeping your upper body on the floor). Hold, then repeat on the other side.

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Happy Cow Stretch

Muscles Stretched:  Hips and Glutes

Directions: 

 

1. Lie on your back with your knees stacked one on top of the other

2. Pull your heels in towards your face while keeping your back on the floor.  

3. Hold and then repeat on the other side.

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Straight-Leg Pull


Muscles Stretched: Hamstrings

Directions:

  1. Lie on your back with both legs flat against the ground.

  2. Lift your right leg up off the ground, placing your hands behind your right thigh, or for a deeper stretch, wrap a towel underneath your shoe and hold on to the ends of it pulling your leg closer to you.

  3. Keeping your right leg straight, pull it towards your chest as far as you can. Hold, then repeat on other side.

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Lying Pectoral Stretch

Muscles Stretched:  Chest and shoulders

Directions:

1. Lie on your stomach with both arms extended to the sides so your body is in a T shape.

2. Push off the ground with your left hand and bend your left knee for balance as you start to roll to your right side. You should feel this in your right-side pectoral muscles.

3. As your mobility increases, you'll be able to stretch further and roll your body further.

4. Repeat on the other side.

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Sphinx Pose

Muscles Stretched:  Lower back, chest, shoulders, and abs

Directions:

 

1. Lie on your stomach with your legs straight out behind you.

2. Place your elbows under your shoulders and your forearms on the floor as you lift your chest up off the floor.

3. Press your hips and thighs into the floor, and think about lengthening your spine while keeping your shoulders relaxed.

4. Sit up just enough to feel a nice stretch in your lower back. Don't hyperextend, and stop immediately if you start to feel any discomfort or pain.

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Child's Pose

Muscles Stretched: Back, shoulders, glutes

Directions:

1. Start on all fours.

2. Walk your arms forward a few inches.

3. Push your hips up and back toward your heels.

4. Push through the palms of your hands to keep your arms straight and engaged.

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Seated Shoulder Squeeze

Muscles Stretched:  Shoulders, chest, and upper back

Directions: 

1. Kneel or sit on the floor with your torso vertical and tall.

2. Clasp your hands behind your lower back.

3. Straighten and extend your arms and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

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Calf Stretch Against Wall


Muscles stretched: Calves

Directions:

  1. Standing near a wall, place the toes of your right foot on the base of the wall.

  2. Lean in towards the wall, feeling the stretch in your calf.  Make sure not to bend your back leg—only go as far as you can while keeping it straight.

  3. Hold, then repeat on other side.