Improving Your Flexibility

Sometimes individuals forget how important flexibility can be. A lack of flexibility can inhibit one’s ability in their activities of daily living. It can also be counterproductive in their exercise routines and can lead to injuries.

Here are some simple stretches you can do daily to help keep you flexible.

Hamstrings: This can be performed on the floor or on two stable chairs.

  • Place two chairs side by side.
  • Sit on the left chair and place a leg across the seat of the other chair.
  • Keep your leg straight and sit up tall.
  • Lean forward from hips until you feel a good stretch in the back of your leg (hamstring).
  • (Omit doing this if you have had a hip replacement.)
  • Hold position 20-30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
Ankles:
  • Have a seat on a chair.
  • Extend one leg out in front of you.
  • Bend your ankle to point your toe away from you and then towards you.
  • Rotate your foot clockwise and then counter clockwise.
  • Perform all exercises 20 times and then repeat on opposite foot.

 

 

 

 

 

Quadriceps:

  • Carefully lie on your side.
  • Rest your head on a pillow or arm.
  • Bend your top leg at the knee.
  • Grab your heel and gently pull until you feel the front of your leg (quadriceps) stretch.
  • Hold 20 – 30 seconds and repeat on opposite side.

 

 

 

 

 

Pelvis and Inner Thigh:

  • Carefully lie on your back, feet on the floor, and bend your knees.
  • Let one knee slowly lower to your side and then bring back to starting position.
  • Repeat 20 times and switch to opposite leg.

 

 

 

 

 

Shoulder Rotation:

  • Carefully lie on your back, feet on the floor, and bend your knees.
  • Lay your arms out like wings and bend them 90 degrees from the elbow.
  • Rotate your arms up over your head like you are in a stick up. Return to starting position.
  • Repeat 20 times.

 

 

 

 

 

Neck Rotation:

  • Carefully lie on your back and put your head on a phone book or something thick.
  • Slowly turn your head from side to side.
  • Repeat 20 times.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue to do these stretches at least three times a week if not every day. This stretching routine along with daily exercise and a healthy diet will help maintain a happier and healthier you. I hope you enjoyed this and if you have any questions regarding this article or any exercises please feel free to contact me atjantenbruin@comcast.net.

 

Be well and live actively!

Jan M. Ten Bruin

ACSM certified Personal Trainer

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