Stretching

Stretching

The following healthcare information is intended as an information resource only and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

Piriformis stretch (wall)

Lie on your back. Place your right ankle over your left knee, just above the knee cap. Bend your left leg so there is about a 90 degree angle between your abdominals and your quads. Place your left foot up against a wall to facilitate this and hold the position. You can place your right hand on the right knee to add to the stretch, or you can bring your bum closer to the wall for a deeper stretch.
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Standing hamstring stretch

From a standing position, place your heel on an elevated surface e.g chair. Bring your belly button (not chest) down to your quad to get into a deeper stretch.
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Standing calf stretch

From a standing position, place your heel on an elevated surface e.g chair. Using a band or an old towel, pull your foot towards your body to facilitate a calf stretch. You can then bring your belly button down to your quad for a deeper stretch.
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Hip flexor stretch

Assume a kneeling stance. Place your hands on top of the foam roller (or chair) in front of you for additional support. Gently tuck your pelvis forward in a “thrust-like” position. We hold this tucked position for the duration of the stretch. Once tucked in, slowly push your hips forwards as more weight is transferred to the front leg and the foam roller.
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Rectus femoris stretch

Assume a kneeling stance. Place your hands on top of the foam roller (or chair) in front of you for additional support. Now prop your foot onto an elevated surface. Examples include a swiss ball, coffee table, or chair. From this position, gently tuck your pelvis forward in a “thrust-like” position. We hold this tucked position for the duration of the stretch. Once tucked in, slowly push your hips forwards as more weight is transferred to the front leg and the foam roller.
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Child's pose

From your knees, allow your chest to sink to the floor. Have your bum resting on your heels. Lengthen your arms so that they are straight and also resting on the floor. Hold the position for at least 20 seconds before "walking" your arms (keep them straight) to the left side. Imagine you are trying to touch something in front of you with your finger tips as you do this. You should feel the whole right side of you back lengthening. Repeat for the right side.
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Hinging Back stretch

This can be done against a wall. From a standing position, hinge down so that your upper torso is as close to parallel with the floor as you can make it go. Have your arms lengthened out and your palms comfortably pressing into the wall in front of you. The arms should be relatively straight. You can bend your knees as long as your bum is back and your back is straight. As you exhale try to press downwards while keeping your palms against the wall. You should feel this all along your upper and mid back, in the shoulders, and along the sides of your back. This is very similar to the feeling one should get with the yoga position, downward dog.
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The "prayer" stretch

Have a bench or chair in front of you. Have something comfortably supporting your knees. Place your elbows on the bench/chair. Glide your bum back. Your upper torso should be parallel to the floor. Keep your elbows on the bench/chair and your forearms in the air. As you exhale try to press your chest closer to the floor but MAKE SURE TO KEEP YOUR BACK STRAIGHT. You should feel a lengthening and opening sensation in your upper back and shoulders.
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‘Crucifix’

Lie face up on top of a foam roller so that your bum, back, and head are comfortably supported. Straighten your arms in a “T-pose” so that your knuckles are resting on the floor. Have your palms facing up throughout the stretch. You can choose to glide your arms either up or down to stretch your chest at different angles. Hold this for a minimum of 60 seconds.
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Standing chest stretch

Place your right palm flat against the edge of a wall. Place your left leg forward in a split stance position. The majority of your weight should be in the front leg. Gradually lean forward without breaking neutral spine and without letting your palm move. You should feel a lengthening sensation on the right side of your chest and potentially going along the arm too. Have a play with the length and angle of your arm to experiment with the stretch.
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