Stretching For A Better Body: Why, When & How

    … increase the stretch again until you feel the same slight pull. Hold this position until you feel no further increase.

    If you do not seem to gain any range of motion using the above technique, you may consider holding the stretch longer (up to 60 seconds).

    Two Stretches For Building Muscle
    1. C-Curve
    Target: Lower Back

    Sit on floor with knees bent, feet on floor about 12 inches in front of butt.
    Interlace fingers behind hamstrings, pointing elbows out to sides.
    Round back, tightening pelvic floor and pulling navel in toward spine; focus on your belly button with jaw pulled in. Inhale through your nose.
    As you exhale, draw navel in even tighter and lift left leg, pushing left heel toward wall in front of you while pulling back with pinkie toe; at the same time, push down on right foot (not shown).
    Return to start and repeat.
    Do 5 reps; switch sides and repeat.

    2. Hamstring Stretch Series
    Target: Hamstrings

    Place a small folded towel behind your head and lie faceup on the floor with legs extended and feet flexed.
    Bend right knee to chest and interlace fingers behind hamstrings as close to your groin as possible; gaze at your chest and keep your chin down, neck long (not shown).
    Tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor and extend leg, pushing through the heel and contracting quads.
    Return to start and repeat; do 5 reps.
    Repeat, turning thigh outward (heel points in), for 5 reps.
    Relax and repeat, turning thigh inward (heel points out, toes point in), for 5 reps.
    Switch legs; repeat series for a total of 15 reps on each leg.

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