Christmas is perfect to spend time with our loved ones and enjoy our home’s warmth. We usually forget our healthy habits and hard workout …
We can keep our flexibility and physical condition by following a 10 minute mini stretching program.
10 ‘ of stretching are enough to relax, give the body the ability to be recharged and improve physical and mental strength.
This program will help us maintain the correct body posture by lengthening/stretching our muscles and increasing the range of motion.
It will develop muscle supply in blood and nutrients and therefore will help towards muscle pain. Let’s get started …
Standing Side Stretch
Standing position with feet together, arms straight overhead, fingers interlaced. Inhale as you reach upward. Exhale and bend your upper body sideways. Inhale and return to the center. Exhale and repeat on the other side.
* Repeat 6 times and at the last stay stretched for 20″breathing normally.
- Keep pelvis weight aligned with the center
- Be careful not slouching.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel on one leg and bring the other forward, slightly bent. Keep your torso straight. Inhale keeping your weight on the back leg and during exhalation transfer your weight to the front leg. Inhale and return to starting position.
* Repeat 4 times in each leg and at the last stay stretched for 40 “breathing normally.
- Push the pelvis until the upper thigh is stretched
- Be careful not slouching.
- Place a pillow or a blanket under your knee to protect it.
Gluteal and Lumbar Rotation Stretch
Supine position, legs extended and relaxed on the floor, arms in T position. Bend one leg, bringing it close to you. Inhale and during exhalation slowly cross it over the outstretched leg towards the floor.Inhale and return to the center.
* Repeat 4 times, increasing the range of motion until the knee touches the floor. The last time stay 40 ” breathing normally. In case we want to place the opposite hand on the bent leg in order to intensify the stretch, turn your gaze to the opposite hand.
- Shoulders should stay on the ground.
- Face the left hand while your left knee crosses over the right one.
Piriformis Stretch Supine
Supine position, legs bent, feet on the floor. Cross one leg over the other placing the ankle over the opposite thigh. Hug the leg behind the thigh and bring it close to you. As you bring the leg to your chest, remove the other leg’s knee to feel the stretch.
* Inhale and exhale for 40 ” – 60 ” at this position trying to increase the range of motion at each exhalation.
- As you bring the back leg close to you, you can intensify the stretch by pushing the opposite knee away with your elbow.
- Pelvis remains on the floor.
Remember that reaching the limits may cause a feeling of “burning” or muscle spasm that becomes pain.. If we start feeling burning, shaking or even pain we need to reduce the intensity of the stretch. We should respect and protect our body.
Ioanna Iakovou, Personal Trainer, AthensTrainers® Associate
fitness & spa, 51