Starting Stretching

April 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Fitness, tips | 1 Comment
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By Phraktured

Overview

Many people want to improve overall flexibility, but do not know where to begin. This guide should serve as a general jumping-off point for beginners. If you wish you could move your limbs a little bit more, or bend just a few extra inches, this program should help

This program is intended to go hand-in-hand with Molding Mobility

A word of note: I am not haughty enough to say that this program is anywhere NEAR the quality of Starting Strength, and I am not a professional. The title is simply my attempt at a joke – don’t read too much into it.

Additionally, always consult with a doctor if you have any injuries, and stop doing things if they produce pain. I am not a medical professional, and cannot afford a lawyer, so use this program at your own risk.

The Program

This program covers a series of 9 stretches – 3 upper body, 4 lower body, and 2 torso. Each is to be done for a total of 60 seconds. Doing this in one stretch is the best, but if you need to stretch for 30s, relax, and finish 30s, that is fine too. Try not to go lower than 20s intervals – if you can’t do a stretch for at least 20s, lessen the intensity.

These stretches are to be performed in succession after every single workout. This should take only 10-15 minutes. It is recommended, however to do them every single day. If you have time, repeating the stretches 2-3 times is also recommended.

Shoulder Extension:

Place your hands on some object that is overhead, while keeping your arms straight. You may bend forward to an object, as long as it is still “overhead”. Attempt to push your head and chest through so that the arms are pressed behind the body. Variation 1Variation 2.

Beginner: As above, with palms facing down

Intermediate: Place your elbows on the object and bring the hands together as it you were praying.

Advanced: Rotate the palms facing upward. Holding a stick might be useful to help keep the hands from rotating. Alternatively, a dead hang from a bar in a chinup grip might be used.

Underarm Shoulder Stretch:

While seated, place your hands behind you on the ground, fingers pointing away, and slide your butt forward, keeping the arms straight. Example. This can also be done by placing your hands behind you on a tall object, and squatting/crouching down.

Beginner: As above, keeping hands on the ground, slightly wide.

Intermediate: Use a stick or resistance band to keep arms slightly wider than shoulder width apart

Advanced: Do this while hanging from a bar. Also known as a “German Hang”

Rear Hand Clasp:

With one hand overhead and the other hand behind your lower back, attempt to grasp fingertips behind your back. Make sure to do this on both sides. Example Video

Beginner: Use a towel or strap to bring the hands together

Intermediate: Grab opposing fingers or hands

Advanced: Grab opposing wrists

Full Squat:

Keeping the heels on the ground, squat down as far as your body will allow. Keep your arms inside the knees and press them outward. Example. Feel free to hold on to something for balance, as it should not affect the stretch, but free balancing is preferred.

Beginner: Just get into the position and hold

Intermediate: Work on sitting up as straight as possible. Chest and head held high

Advanced: Sit up vertically and attempt to keep the toes pointed forward

Standing Pike:

Bend forward, hinging at the hips while trying to keep the back flat. Do not try to touch your toes – instead, try to touch the ground 1-2 feet in front of your toes. This will help you hinge at the hips and not bend at the back. When you can get decently below parallel with a flat back, then you can grab your calves and attempt to pull your head to your knees. See here and here for pictures.

Note: When returning from the stretch, bend your knees and let your hips drop, before lifting your upper body up. Stand up as if squatting. Doing otherwise can risk back injury

Beginner: Forward bend with a flat back

Intermediate: When below parallel with a flat back grab your calves and pull your knees to your chest

Advanced: Pull your knees to your chest without using your arms to pull

Read  the rest of this article at Phraktured

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1 Comment »

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  1. Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
    My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with
    someone!


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