Busy athletes don’t always have a lot of time to stretch after a workout.
Try these 4 flexibility exercises you can squeeze in while sitting on a desk at work, watching TV or being on the phone.
Reduce your risk for lower-back pain and other over-use injuries caused by tightness.
Why Daily Flexibility Exercises?
How Quickly Will It Help?
Instantly. You should feel an improvement in your range of motion around a joint right after completing your stretching session. And if you keep it up for 3-4 wk with a frequency of 2-3x per week, you should benefit of the long-term adaptations.
How Long Should I Stretch?
Hold each position for 10-30s. In total, you try to achieve 60s of stretching time for each exercise. The tighter the muscle, the shorter the hold, to achieve the total time. For example do 4 holds of 10-15 seconds each position.
How Intense Should It Be?
Get gradually into a position and hold it until you feel a tightness or slight discomfort. On a pain scale of 1-10, a slight discomfort is 2-3. Avoid hurting yourself!
Exercise #1. Side Oblique Stretch
Stretch your lats, hips and obliques by crossing your right leg over the left one. Then lift your right arm, palm facing inward, reach and lean toward the opposite side of the arm raised.
Exercise #2. Seated Figure-4 Stretch
Stretch your hips, lower back and glutes in a seated position. Cross one leg on top of the other. Put gentle pressure on the knee of the crossed leg. Lean forward until you feel a mild stretch.
Exercise #3. Crescent Lunge Twist
Stretch your chest, lungs, shoulders, arms, neck, belly, groins, back in a lunge position. Rooting the front leg on the floor with the knee directly above the ankle. The torso twists towards the bent leg up front. Both arms are extended to the side while the spine is long and stretched.
Exercise #4. Seated Cat-Cow Stretch
Stretch your abs, back, shoulders and neck in a sitting position. Inhale, lift your chest, arch your back and look straight ahead. Then exhale, round your spine, drop your head and draw your abs in.
Improve your overall well-being by implementing exercising during your day!
Stay tuned for four more exercises in Part 2. Coming soon.