Exercise Stretches

 

 

Exercise stretches help to increase flexibility and improve joint mobility.  Stretching can be helpful if you have arthritis or stiffness in the joints.  If you have a lot of pain in your joints, talk to your doctor about stretching exercise and how it can benefit your condition.

Stretching is also a good way to warm up before doing more strenuous aerobic or cardiovascular exercise.  They raise your body temperature and heart rate, while also improving the blood flow to the muscles. 

When doing stretching exercise, it is important to move slowly.  Donít bounce, but hold the stretch for a few seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.  Donít hold your breath but continue to breathe normally while you stretch.  Stretch far enough to feel tension, but not so far that it hurts.

Try these exercise stretches for a complete full-body stretching session.

Neck Stretches

  1. Sit or stand with your arms hanging at your sides.

  2. Tilt your head to the side, first one side, then the other.

  3. Hold for a count of 5 on each side.

  4. Repeat these exercise stretches 5 times.

Shoulder/Arm Stretches

This stretching exercise really stretches your middle back, hands, fingers, and wrists, as well as your shoulders and arms.

  1. Interlace fingers and turn palms out.

  2. Stretch your arms out in front of you at shoulder height.

  3. Hold a count of 10.

Middle Back Stretches

  1. Stand up straight with your hands on your hips.

  2. Keep your knees slightly bent.

  3. Then twist to your right until a gentle stretch is felt.

  4. Hold a count of 10.

  5. Repeat this exercise on other side.

Calf Stretches

  1. Stand a little ways away from a wall and lean against it with your forearms, with your head resting against your hands.

  2. Place your right foot in front of you, with your knee bent, your left leg straight out behind you.

  3. Gradually move your hips forward until you feel a gentle stretch in the calf of your left leg.

  4. Keep your left heel flat on the floor and your feet pointed straight ahead.

  5. Hold for a count of 10.

  6. Repeat this stretching exercise on the other side.

Quadriceps Stretch (Front of Thigh)

  1. Stand a little ways away from a wall and place your left hand on the wall for support.

  2. Stand up straight and bend your right leg back.  Grasp the top of your right foot with your right hand.

  3. Pull your heel toward your buttock.

  4. Hold for a count of 10.

  5. Repeat this stretching exercise on the other side.

Hamstrings Stretches (Back of Thigh) 

  1. Sit on the floor with your left leg stretched out in front of you.

  2. Bend your right leg and cross right foot over your left leg, placing it outside your left knee.

  3. Pull your right knee across your body towards your left shoulder.

  4. Hold for a count of 10.

  5. Repeat these exercise stretches on the other side.

Lower Back Stretches

  1. Sit on floor with right leg stretched out in front of you.

  2. Bend left knee, cross left leg over right leg, placing left foot outside right knee.

  3. Bend right elbow and rest it outside left knee.

  4. Place left hand on floor behind you.

  5. Look over your left shoulder and rotate your upper body to the left.

  6. Hold for a count of 10.

  7. Repeat these exercise stretches on the other side.

Full Body Stretch

  1. Lie on the floor with your arms stretched out over your head and your legs stretched out straight.

  2. Reach stretch your arms and legs as far as you can.

  3. Hold for a count of 10, relax, repeat.

 



After you have stretched properly, you can utilize a treadmill for an excellent cardio workout. At the Treadmill Ratings and Reviews web site you can get reviews on popular treadmills by industry expert Fred Waters.

More than exercise stretches on our benefits to exercise page

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