Stretching is very important for your body. You may exercise more or sit more, either ways, it is important. It helps in sending blood to your muscles. It also helps your joints in moving flexibly. It reduces the risk of damage when any movement is made suddenly.
A lot of you must be practicing yoga. But do you know in which pose which muscle is being stretched? Do you know if you are stretching properly?
The following pocketbook will guide you. The next time you fell any discomfort while stretching, you can refer to this guide to know how to correct your position.
If your joints are hurting, it means you are pushing yourself too much. try to focus on your breath and go through the process slowly.
Don’t bother about how to stretch. Your muscles should be relaxed and should get back to normal within 30 seconds. If it does not work, try a different pose.
The following images were created by a yoga expert. Do follow the guidelines.
1. Camel pose: this is good for those who are already very flexible. Sit down on your heels. Put your hands behind and push yourself upwards. If you have a neck problem, don’t tilt your head backwards. This pose is for rectus abdominus and external obliques.
2. Wide forward fold: if you want to stretch your hips and hamstrings, this is a good exercise. Bend your knees and keep your backbone straight. When your muscles relax, make your legs straight. Try to touch your feet. Use a belt if it is difficult. You can lie down on your back with your feet up against the wall also.
3. Frog pose: this exercise should be done on a soft surface. It is to stretch the groins. It also puts pressure on your knees. So be careful. Rest your body on the hands and knees. Slowly widen the knees until you feel the stretch in the groins.
4. Wide side lunge pose: keeps your legs straight. Slowly bend towards your right, putting your entire weight on the right hip. The right foot should be on the ground. The left foot should face the ceiling.
5. Butterfly stretch: place your feet together. The soles of the feet should touch each other. Keep the feet as close to your body. Put pressure on your knees in a downward motion. Take your feet further apart to release the muscles.
6. Forearm extensor stretch: relax your shoulder. Stretch out one arm. With the other hand, apply pressure on the stretched palm in way that it pulls your arm muscles.
7. Lateral side flexion of the neck: carefully bend your neck on one side in a way that your ear reaches your shoulder. Be careful not to collapse your spine. You can also do this better by sitting in a chair and holding it down with your hands.
8. Neck rotation stretch: rotate your neck to one side. Keep your chin up. You can apply pressure to your hand supporting the neck with the opposite hand for a better stretch.
9. Neck extension stretch: keep your hands on your hip. Bend your neck backwards. Do not collapse your spine.
10. Lateral side flexion of the neck with hand assistance: bend your neck to one side by dropping your ear to the shoulder. Don’t collapse your spine. You can do it better by sitting in a chair and holding it downwards with your hands.
11. Half kneeling squad: sit down in a half kneeling position. Bring your right hip forward and push back your right leg. You will soon feel the stretch on your hip.
12. Forearm extensor stretch: relax your shoulder. Stretch out one arm. With the other hand, apply pressure on the stretched palm in way that it pulls your arm muscles. You can improve the stretch by bringing the fingers together in the shape of a tea cup.
13. Lateral shoulder stretch: stretch out one arm. Put pressure on it with the other arm. This stretches the shoulder.
14. Standing assisted neck flexion stretch: stand with your feet together. Keep your spine straight. Bends your knees. Round your back. Bring your chin to your chest.
15. Lat stretch with spinal transaction: hold on to a bar at a height. Raise yourself up. The more you raise, the more stretch you will feel. The maximum will be when you are completely off ground. Don’t do it if your have recently injured your shoulder or spine.
16. Lat stretch on the wall: hold to the corner of a wall with both hands. Stretch one hip outwards. Don’t do this if you have a lower back injury.
17. Child’s pose: sit on your hands and knees. Push your hips backwards. Bend forward until your forehead touches the ground. Spread your knees for better effect, hands should be stretched outwards.
18. Standing calf stretch: do this on a step or any small elevation. Rotate your ankles inside and outside to stretch your calf muscles.
19. Front split: be careful with this one. Take the support of a chair. Lunge your knees. It stretches your hips and hamstrings.
20. Seated forward fold: sit with your legs stretched outward. Touch your feet with your hands. Initially bend your knees. Slowly straighten them when you feel comfortable.
21. Single leg forward bend: stretch one foot outward. Bend at the knees. Keep hands on the hips. Keep the back straight.
22. Deep squat: keep your feet should width apart. Squat down. The heels should be down completely. Bring your hands inside. Put pressure on the inside of knees. This is useful for all areas of the body.
23. Seated half king pigeon pose: sit down. Pull one leg inside and rotate the hip. Keep your spine straight. The glutes will feel the stretch.
24. Standing calf stretch at the wall: lunge position is the starting. Back foot should be out. Bend one knee forward. Stretch the calf muscle.
25. Lateral flexion at the wall: stand tall. Hold the wall. Push the hips outside. Don’t do it if you have lower back problems.
26. Supine twist: this is very good for those with sciatic pain. Lie down flat on your back. Bring one leg to the other side. Breathe in deeply to open your ribs. Pull down the legs with the other hand while twisting in the opposite direction. Put both legs together if one leg is difficult.
27. Lateral flexion with a dowel: stand tall. Hold the dowel. Push the hips outside. Don’t do it if you have lower back problems.
28. Triangle pose: stand with your feet wide apart. Twist one foot outside. Bend sideward until your hand touches the twisted foot or the floor. Other hand should be stretched up and out. Your gaze should be on the stretched hand.
29. Chest stretch at the wall: face the wall. Keep your hands on the wall. Twist outwards. You should feel the stretch in the belly of the muscle. If you feel it in the shoulder, you are overdoing it.
30. Assisted chest stretch: lie down on the floor. Palm facing outwards. Your partner should squat behind you and pull your arms outwards. Your spins will feel the traction. Avoid it if you have an injured your shoulder.
31. Seated half pigeon variation: sit with your feet forward. Keep one hand behind. Twist your hip. Place one leg over the other knee. Slowly bend forward.
32. Supine shoulder external rotation stretch: lie on your back flat. Bring your arms to your side. Life the forearms and bend them at right angle to the elbow. Push them flat backwards. Feel the stretch.
33. Down dog variation at the wall: stay arms length away from the wall. Bend forward such that you are parallel to the ground. Hold the wall. Curve your spine. Hip extended outwards. Chest pushed inwards. Bend the knees if you feel pain in the legs.
34. Assisted chest stretch variation: lie down on the floor face down. Your partner should pull your hands backwards. You will feel the stretch on the chest. Avoid if you have a shoulder injury.
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