After the work I spent in the kitchen and at my computer last week, my body needed some TLC! I’d been keeping active, remembering to warm up in the mornings, but I wasn’t getting in time for myself to stretch.
This week is about re-introducing some self-care. I’d like to share with you all some of my favorite stretches, which don’t need much in the way of space.
Doorway Side Bends
Begin with feet together, inside arm bent at waist to hold onto doorframe. Reach top arm above head to reach the doorframe. Let hips and ribs peel away from doorframe.
Pro tip: Keep hips, chest and head all facing forward, as if sandwiched between two walls.
Doorway Pec Stretch
With arm bent 90 degrees or straight, keep whole hand on door frame for support. Rotate away from frame, keeping chin in line with your sternum.
Pro tip: Shoulders should remain relaxed down away from ears.
Bonus: Reach overhead to top of door frame. Be careful to not arch your back!
Countertop Hip Hinge
Place hands on a counter. Walk backwards until feet are directly under your hips, with hips at a 90 degree angle. Ears should be framed by your arms.
Pro tip: Point those sitbones directly behind you!
Up the Wall Hamstrings
Laying on your back, walk your feet up the wall as you scoot your hips closer. Bring the hips as close as you can comfortably get while keeping your sitbones pointing to the wall. (Instead of curling up towards your feet.)
Bonus: To stretch your inner thighs, allow your legs to open up away from each other. Keep the hips neutral, with knees and toes perpendicular to the wall.
Supported Figure 4
Lay on your back with hips and knees bent at 90 degrees, feet on the wall. Take your right ankle and cross it over the left knee, flexing the ankle to create a “lock.” Use your right hand to help gently press the right leg open. To deepen the stretch, move your hips closer to the wall.
Pro tip: Keep both sitbones facing the wall instead of allowing the hips to twist.
Side Lying Quad Release
Lay on one side with hand supporting your head. Shoulders and hips stacked in front of you. Knees will begin bent in front of you, with heels in line with your sit bones. Using your hand on your ankle or shin (use a belt to assist), draw your upper leg back in the hip socket so you can feel a stretch across your front hip and quadriceps muscle.
Pro tip: Don’t allow your back to arch. Instead, pull your leg back with your hand closer to your knee instead of the foot.
Is there a stretch you enjoy that isn’t in the list? Comment below to share with others!