Follow These Exercises and Your Body Will Be Flexible at Any Age
A simple exercise for daily stretching from a professor of physical therapy at New York University.
These stretching exercises will help avoid muscle stiffness, increase flexibility, and reduce the risk of injury. Do them daily. If you sit a lot, do them several times a day.
You should not exercise if you feel pain or have problems with your muscular system.
Before you start stretching, you need to get the right position
First, sit down on a firm surface. Transfer your body weight to your sciatic bones so that your spine assumes its natural position. Pull your chin back and down so that your neck is in line with your back.
1. Stretching the neck
Turn your head to the right, stay in this position for 30-60 seconds. Return your head to its original position and turn to the other side.
2. Head tilt
Bend your head to the right. Place your right hand on the left side of your head next to your ear and press gently. Pull the left hand down towards the floor. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds, then change sides.
3. Rotations of the trunk
Cross your arms over your chest. Turn your body and head to look behind your right shoulder. The pelvis stays in place and does not move. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds and repeat to the other side.
4. Back stretching
Place your palms on your knees. Arch your back slightly. A small bend will be enough to stretch the stiff muscles. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds.
5. Side-to-side bends
Raise right arm up. Lean to the left while stretching the right side of your body. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds and repeat to the other side.
6. Forward Bend
Bend forward, lying with your belly on your knees. Arms hanging freely, neck straight. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds.
7. Triceps and shoulder stretches
Lift right elbow over head, put forearm behind back, palm on shoulder blade in front of middle of back. Place your left hand behind your back at waist level. Elbow pressed to the waist, forearm stretched along the back, palm facing outward. If possible, connect fingers of both hands. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds and change hands.
8. Stretch the quadriceps
Stand up straight. Bend your right knee and grasp the toe with your right hand, pressing your heel against your buttock. Don’t push your right hip too far forward, it should be about level with your left hip. Feel the stretch at the front of your thigh. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds, holding onto a wall or the back of a chair if you lose your balance. Repeat with the other leg.
9. Stretching the lower leg muscles
Walk up to the wall and lean your palms against it. Put your right foot close to the wall so that your toe is against it. Take a step back with your left leg. Bend the knee of the right leg and pull it toward the wall. Your left leg stays straight with your heels pressed to the floor. You should feel the muscles of the left leg stretching. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
10. Stretch the hip flexor muscles
Lie on the floor on your back, straighten your legs. Bring your right knee to your chest, put your hands on it and pull it closer. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds, then switch legs.
11. Back Thigh Stretch
Lie on the floor on your back. Bend your left leg at the knee and place the foot on the floor. Straighten your right leg and lift it up. The angle between your hip and your body should be 90 degrees or less. If you have an expanded, put the loop on your leg and pull it closer to your body. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
12. Chest Muscle Stretch
Lie on the floor on your back. Lift and bend your left leg at the knee. Place the ankle of the right foot on the knee of the left foot. Pull your left knee closer to your body, feeling the stretch in the right gluteal muscle. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
Simple chair stretches can be done right at your desk every two to three hours, and floor exercises can be left for home practice.