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A stretch routine that can be performed anywhere

As promised — a stretch routine. Last week’s column was about exercises you can do when you are stuck inside. This week’s column is about a stretch routine which can be performed almost anywhere.

After you have warmed up with some light cardio, do the following. Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds or two times for 15 seconds:

Lie on your back and bend your knees with feet together. Let your knees go to the outside bottom of the feet touching. If you need support, hold your legs up with your hands. You will feel the inner thigh stretch.

Stay in same position, knees bent. Right arm extended next to your head/ear and reach up. Left arm next to your body and reach down. Switch arms. Stretches arms and some “traps” (muscle in between neck and shoulder).

On your back, pull one leg towards your chest and leave the other leg straight on the floor. Switch legs—stretches buttocks, back and upper leg.

On your side, rest head on extended arm. Bend top leg and grab upper foot, with knees still together. To stretch your quads (front upper leg) more you can push your hip forward. Switch legs and sides.

On back, one leg is bent other leg is extended and up. With hands pull extended leg towards you— stretches hamstrings.

In seated position, one leg extended to the front, the other leg bent and foot is on outer side of the extended knee. Turn body towards bent leg and grab the knee, sit up tall and twist. Switch sides.

In seated position, bend knees and put bottom of feet together. Let the knees fall out or push them out, also called “butterfly.” — stretches inner thighs.

In standing position, one leg is back and straight, front leg is bent. Back heel stays on the floor and the position of the heel is behind your foot. Bring weight forward and keep heel on floor—feel stretch in calf (back part of lower leg). Switch sides.

Same position, back heel comes off the floor, hip pushes forward (like a Michael Jackson dance move). Feel the stretch in the hip flexors (front of the hip).

Standing position arms extended and up next to your ears. Try to “reach” the ceiling—stretches side, upper body, shoulders and arms.

Same as above, now one arm is down and the other stays up and continues to reach over. With right arm up, reach towards your left, left arm up reach towards your right. Stretches side, upper body, shoulders and arms.

In standing position, extend one arm to the front and bring it across your body. With your other arm “hug” and pull towards your body. Switch arms. Stretches back of shoulder.

Same start, bring arm up and bent. When elbow is pointing to ceiling, use the other arm to pull it towards the opposite side. Right elbow will be pushed to left and left to right. Stretches triceps (back of upper arm).

In standing position with your side to a wall, put hand on wall on shoulder level. Fingers are pointing to the back, push your shoulder forward. Switch arms. Stretches biceps, shoulders and some chest.

Now go and stretch!

Ester Marsh, ACSM Cpt and Health & Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA

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