Fitness is a lot more than what we see in the gyms. Fitness is for our skin, hair, bones, eyes, muscles and all the way through to our joints. Stretching is a major part of staying in shape and a major part of relieving stress, which ages our bodies faster then ANYTHING! The body needs strength and flexibility to maintain optimal health.
I wanted to put together an effective but quick stretching regimen that can be done within your work space. I found out a lot about my body when I went through my yoga teacher training earlier this year. The three majors were that my wrists, back and shoulders were super tight. I spend a lot of my time at a computer and I do a lot of arts and crafts/hand sewing, both of which keep my wrists in flexion (bending forward) for long periods of time.
My shoulders curve inward which is common for many people. This puts strain on the back and neck. These are very important parts of our bodies, especially to keep healthy as we get older! Here are some stretches that I find beneficial. Next week I will elaborate and show you guys some killer chest openers and deeper versions of today’s routine that
you can do at home.
This is a quick fix version that you can do anytime when you are feeling tight. Stretches listed below, do as many or as little as you desire. Use your breathe always when stretching. On your inhale elongate your body and on
your exhale relax, let your body be heavy and stretch deeper.
EXERCISE: DEEP SHOULDER STRETCH
1. Clasp your hands and place your elbows shoulder width apart
2. Slide your chair back as far as you can until your back is straight
3. I promise you will feel this…my shoulders are tight so I still have a hard time getting completely straight
4. Use your exhale to relax and stretch deeper into your shoulder. THIS ONE YOU WILL FEEL!
EXERCISE: DEEP SEATED TWIST
1. Keeping your feet sturdy on the floor, cross your right leg over your left leg
2. Use your right forearm as leverage against your knee
3. On an inhale press your thighs into your chair and lengthen through your side body, all the way to the crown of your head so that you are sitting tall in the torso
4. On an exhale, keeping both your sitbones planted in your chair, twist
5. If you want a deeper twist you can use your other arm as leverage (image 1)
6. On an inhale release the twist and come back to center
7. Switch your arms ONLY, place your left forearm against your knee
8. Inhale lengthen through your sides of your body, sitting tall
9. Exhale twist the other way (image 2)
10. Keep your shoulders down and your sternum pulled up towards your chin when your doing these deep twist
11. Now switch crossing of legs and repeat other side
EXERCISE: SEATED TRIANGLE/SHOULDER&BACK STRETCH
1. Plant your feet hip distance apart
2. Again we will be using your inner thigh as leverage
3. Straighten your right arm, shrug your shoulders down away from your ears
4. Press the top of your arm against your inner thigh as your press your thigh into your arm
5. On an inhale stretch from tall from your tailbone to the crown of your head
6. On an exhale, keeping
both your sitbones grounded into your chair, start to twist
7. If it’s comfortable reach your other arm to the ceiling
8. Always elongate or release on an inhale, stretch on your exhale
9. Hold as long as you can at your comfort level and repeat other side (using left inner thigh and left arm)
EXERCISE: SUPPORTED FORWARD FOLD
1. Take your shoes off if you are at work or wearing shoes
2. Stand your feet hip distance apart and a lil less then a foot from the wall, then lean your toosh against wall
3. Keep a bend in your knees, feet flat with your toes spread wide
4. Fold forward hinging at your hips
5. You can let your arms fall to the floor, I like to clasp mine at the elbows seems to bare more weight in order to release my spine
6. Majority of us are going to continue to unknowingly grip our shoulders, neck or groin area
7. So use your breathe to really “LET GO” of your body tension. Hang out here for a solid minute at least and breathe deep
8. Try to feel your breathe traveling up and down your spine, from deep in your tummy up through your chest.
9. Inhale through your nose and when you exhale open your mouth and breathe out (let your self sigh out with sound)
10. This is great for anytime you feel overwhelmed in your day. If anything on my list, this is one that I wouldn’t skip! Anytime you bring your body into a forward fold, it is calming, relieves headaches and lowers blood pressure. It facilitates a sense of quiet, calm and letting go.
EXERCISE: STANDING CAT/COW
1. Stand a few feet from your desk and place your hands down shoulder width apart
2. On an exhale round as deep as you can into your shoulders
3. On an inhale arch as deep as you can from your tailbone to the crown of your head
4. Continue as you please:)
EXERCISE: WRISTS STRETCH
1. We want to stretch the wrist the opposite way of how they spend the majority of their time
2. So face your palm out and down
3. Use your other hand to stretch your fingers back toward your wrists
4. Continue by doing each individual finger as well, spend some time on this (few minutes per side)
5. Repeat your other hand
EXERCISE: WRIST ROTATIONS
1. I don’t know about you but when I do this it sounds like I just poured a bowl of Rice Krispies Cereal!
2. You can do this with open palms or fists
3. Rotate your wrists clockwise for a solid minute
4. Then reverse and go counter clockwise for a minute
5. You will feel this all the way down through the muscles in your forearms
UNTIL NEXT TIME, STAY VIVAFIT:)