Blog

STAY FLEXIBLE


As flexibility starts to decline with age and a sedentary lifestyle, it is very important to stretch your body regularly to help with maintaining proper biomechanical functions and mobility. Flexibility training is important to restore or maintain a normal range of motion. Normal and proper biomechanics will reduce your risk of injuries from sports activities, everyday life activities, and will help decrease the aging of your body. Having a flexible body will have a positive impact on your overall well-being and may help give seniors their independence. Flexibility exercises help improve the mobility of your muscles, connective tissue, and joints. Normal and proper range of motion helps you get the most out of your strength training, flexibility training, and your activities of daily living. Well-stretch muscles, ligaments, and tendons can help you prevent injuries, falls, and balance problems. A well-designed, stretching routine should take less than 10 minutes and should be performed at least 2 to 3 times per week. There are many ways to gain or maintain flexibility such as Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Tai Chi, just to name a few. The stretches below are some of my favorite ones to keep your spine flexible, create strength, and help with balance. These exercises will help you increase your range of motion in the low back, hamstrings, obliques, hips, and spine. Always remember to consult your doctor or trainer before starting any new flexibility training program. “Stay flexible”.

Forward Bend

Poor posture during both sitting or standing will lead to low back pain. Your lower back responds to the action of the muscles of the pelvis, quadriceps, and hamstrings. When these muscles are tight and function they can pull your pelvis out of alignment and cause low back pain. Posture exercises and stretching can help combat this problem. Try this forward bend stretch to help the low back and hamstrings.

1. Stand with both feet together in front of a counter.


2. Exhale as you start to move into spinal flexion with both arms extended in

front of you.


3. Reach forward with both hands and place them on the counter to maintain

spinal stability.


4. Lengthen your spine by flattening your back and keep your head in a neutral

position facing down.


5. You may feel a lot of tightness in the lower back and hamstring if you do

bend your knees.


6. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds (breath normal)


7. Inhale and return the spine to the neutral position


Repeat this stretch 2 to 3 more times

Side Bend

Stretching and strengthening your oblique muscles will help your body to move with more ease. This stretch will also help stabilize your spine bring flexibility to your torso so that you will be able to twist and bend your torso (upper body).

1. Stand with both feet together. (If you need some support, stand with your

side against the wall)


2. Lift your right arm above your head.


3. Left-hand rests on your outer thigh


4. Reach across to the left side to feel the stretch in your right oblique (side

muscles).


5. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds


6. Repeat on the left side


Repeat 2 to 3 more times.


Warning: Always remember to stop at the point of the stretch, not pain.

Hip flexors Stretch

Your hip flexors are a group of muscles that includes muscles of the hips and upper thighs. Many people spend most of their time sitting. The hip flexors can become tight, which leads to limited mobility and tightness in your low back. This exercise will help increase the range of motion in the hips.

1. In a supine position with both legs straight.


2. Bend your right knee and rotate it out.


3. Place the sole of your right foot against the left leg.


4. If you don’t feel the stretch, with your right hand slowly press your knee

down until you feel the stretch.


5. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds


6. Repeat on the left side


Repeat 2 to 3 times


Warning: Always remember to stop at the point of the stretch, not pain.

For a more advance stretch try the butterfly stretch

Butterfly stretches


1. In a seated position, lift your chest to maintain the longest spine possible

throughout the stretch.


2. Bend and rotate both knees out.


3. Bring your feet together and use your hands to hold your feet.


4. Slowly allow your leg muscles to press your knees down until you feel the

stretch.

5. Keep your spine straight and relax your shoulders.


6. When you feel the stretch hold for 10 to 15 seconds


Repeat 2 to 3 times


Warning: Always remember to stop at the point of the stretch not pain.

Seated Spine Twist

Seated twists can help strengthen the spine and improve spinal flexibility. Flexibility can help prevent various spine injuries.

  1. In a seated upright position with both feet on the floor.

2. Lift your chest to maintain the longest spine possible throughout the twist.


3. Extend your right arms out and rotate your upper body to the right side,

bring your right arm behind you.


4. Bring your left arm and place it by your right leg.


5. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds.


Repeat with the left side


Warning: Always remember to stop at the point of the stretch, not pain.

"Stay Flexible"