Written by Matt Gloss, HAWA Health Fitness Specialist
Stretching is a good way to relieve stress and something anyone can do in the comfort of their own home. Matt Gloss, HAWA Health Fitness Specialist, shares six simple stretches that are best suited to help you relax and release all that tension you have probably been building up. Here are six stretches to help.
Prone Press Up/ Prone Back Extension Areas targeted: Low back, hips, shoulders, upper, chest Lie down with your tummy on the floor. With your hands underneath your armpits Slowly lift your head and upper torso up until your body weight is resting on your hands and on your toes. To maximize the stretch, draw your head back and lift your chin a bit higher while arching your back just a bit more. Make sure your hips stay on the ground.
Child’s pose Areas targeted: Upper back, shoulders, neck, groin, hips Start by kneeling on the floor with your knees about hip-width apart and sitting on your heels. Then you bring your upper torso forward and down until you assume the worship position. Reach your arms out as far as you can without allowing your hands, wrists or elbows to come off the ground. Rock back and hold the stretch while taking deep breaths in.
90/90 Hip Stretch Areas Targeted: Hip flexors, glutes, piriformis From the floor, place your front leg in a 90º angle directly out in front of you with your knee flat on the ground. Do the same with your other leg behind you. Place your hands on the floor on each side of your front leg. Slowly bring your chest towards your knee, keeping your shoulders squared to the mat. Don't drop to your elbow unless both can be on the floor equally.
Quadruped Thoracic rotation to thread the needle Areas Targeted: Thoracic spine, shoulders, pecs, serratus anterior, ribs Areas Targeted: Thoracic spine, shoulders, pecs, serratus anterior, ribsStarting on your hands and knees, place your right hand behind your head while you drive your left hand into the ground. Without moving your hips, take your right elbow and try to touch your L wrist. Once done with this, rotate that elbow up to the sky trying to get your shoulder blades parallel with one another. Hold at the top for 3-5 seconds. Repeat.
Assisted Cervical Flexion and Extension Areas Targeted: Cervical neck muscles, pecs Place your hands on the base of your neck with your elbows pointed out to the sides. Stand up tall and take a deep breath, and then exhale as you drop your chin towards your chest, pulling your elbows down towards the floor. Gently allow the weight of your hands and arms to weigh your head down further, and take a few deep breaths here. Bring your head and back up to your starting position and push your elbows back as far as you can and exhale out. Take a deep breath in as you come back to your starting position.
Ear Drop/lateral flexion Areas targeted: lateral neck muscles Interlace your fingers behind your back, resting your hands on the small of your lower back and pulling your shoulders down and back. From here, drop your right ear to your right shoulder, and hold for a few breaths. Then switch sides.