Your First Stretching Routine

Your First Stretching Routine

The goal of this blog is to help you learn to follow a regular program. A regular stretching program can bring tremendous value to your workouts & your life. You are currently living with imbalances that are creating pain and stress in your body.

It’s fair to say that if you aren’t tight in your neck, upper back & shoulders then you are painfully stiff in your legs, lower back, & hips.

Here is a simple stretching routine that will open all these areas up, figure out which ones are a problem so you can begin to heal them.

Like I said earlier building a routine is the name of the game with this post so I suggest scheduling and performing this routine nightly or after workouts. I do mean schedule, put it on your calendar, datebook, refrigerator or whatever and keep the appointment you made with yourself.

Stretching Rules:

  1. Breathe deeper & slower each breath. Your body’s natural reaction is to tense up and resist the muscle being lengthened. Send your central nervous system a calming message by increasing the duration of your inhalation & exhalation on each progressive breath.
  2. Stretch for 15-30 seconds. Anything less than 15 seconds will be interpreted by the body as a reflex reaction, not an intentional lengthening of the muscle. If your following rule one you should be able to get 15 seconds in 4-5 breaths. Shoot for 30 seconds as you get better.
Start with a focus on loosening up the major muscles of your legs.

From a seated position with one leg forward, you can stretch the back of the legs (hamstrings) by leaning forward or the front of the legs (Quads) by leaning back.

The upper back is where most people carry most of their tension and stress.

Relieve that stress with the arms up the wall stretch.

Pay attention to where you are most tight, at the top of the range of motion or at the bottom.

The Iron Cross is really going to open up your lower back, hips, and back of the legs.

This move will stretch out most of your major muscle groups.

Legs up the wall is a perfect stretch for cooling down after a workout or relaxing your body to get ready to go to bed.

Use the wall & gravity to your advantage to make it as easy.

That’s it! 4 stretches that hit all of your major muscles & joints. Repeat 3 times per week & learn new stretches on our YouTube series – Stretching 101 to add into your routine!

Get Moving Challenge

Get Moving Challenge

The path to fitness is paved by achieving your goals. This challenge is intended to be the first step in your journey. By sticking with and completing easy goals like this one you can start to build positive momentum. 

Your goal is to be active 3 times per week all month long.

Print out this calendar, put it on your fridge and check it off each time you do a workout or a walk. Get moving regularly!

Download the Calendar HERE

Stretch Your Hip & Back With Your Chair

Stretch Your Hip & Back With Your Chair

Sitting in your chair for too long is the primary cause for tight hips, back & leg pain in today’s sedentary society. Did you know you can use that very same chair that is causing you pain to help relive it?

Here is how to do the chair hip stretch.

  1. Cross ankle over the opposite knee.
  2. Place your hands firmly on the edge of your chair under your butt.
  3. Slowly lower your tailbone towards the ground, gently stretching your hips and loosening your lower back and legs.
  4. Hold for 15-30 seconds (or as long as you can to start).
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Practice this stretch regularly while you are at your desk or when you are at home to reduce back, hip & leg pain.

The Best Single Leg Exercise for Everyone

The Best Single Leg Exercise for Everyone

Having the balance to walk up and down stairs is one of the most functional things you can train your body for.

Still, many Americans out there will struggle with this basic exercise & as a result, it is one of the ones I prescribe most frequently.

Work your legs individually and make sure your balance & stability is on point with step ups no matter what your age is.

 

Simple, effective & something EVERYONE regardless of AGE or ability should be able to do well. Having single leg stability for walking & climbing stairs is essential to your ability to thrive.

Beginners: start with a low step. One of your stairs, a step stool or an exercise step at your gym.

Try sets of 15 or more per side for a cardio blast!

Athletes: step up onto a chair, bench or box at the gym.

Try to complete as many reps as possible in a two minute period. Try again next workout to improve your score.

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Iron Cross Stretch | Stop Lower Back, Hip & Leg pain

Iron Cross Stretch | Stop Lower Back, Hip & Leg pain

Muscles need to be not only strong but also pliable, flexible and durable. The rule of thumb is that you should spend as much time lengthening muscles as you do tightening them. That’s why I’m here to teach you one of my favorite before bed stretches. It’s great for pre or post workout too.

The most important stat in sports (and therefore fitness and life) is games played.

Unfortunately, most people don’t realize this until they are already racked with pain, tightness, and injuries.

Here is a move to help keep your back, hips, and legs loose and pain-free, and all you need is an open spot on the floor.

Directions: Lay flat on your back with arms directly out from your sides. Raise one foot in the air, turn your hips and touch your foot to the hand on the opposite side.