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Sunday, June 24, 2012

The importance of flexibility; How to stretch

One of the most over-looked aspects of physical fitness is flexibility training. We all want to know how much we can lift or how fast we can run, but do you know if you can bend down and touch your toes? If not, you have a flexibility problem that needs to be address ASAP. In today's society we are plagued with postural imbalances, injuries, and low back pain. Most of these conditions can be corrected with simple flexibly routines. Sitting for long period of time, can lead to tight and weak hamstring, low back muscles, pectorals, neck and hip flexors. Let's not forget the ligaments associated with each joint. Your right, it’s ALL CONNECTED! Having tight muscles can lead to injury and cause chronic pain that your physician may prescribe medications to alleviate, but never address the muscle imbalance that you put your body through every day.

Here is a sample flexibility program for you to follow daily:

Hamstring Stretch: Lie flat on you back and lift one leg up in the air, while having the opposite leg lie flat on the floor. Grab the leg that’s in the air behind the knee and gently pull towards you. Try to keep the leg straight as you can. This should be done slowly and held for 30 secs.
Pectoral Wall Stretch: Stand in the center of a doorway. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and place them on the walls of the door. Slowly lean forward until a stretch is felt in your chest. This should be done slowly and held for 30 secs.
Upper Trapezius Stretch: Stand upright and lean neck laterally (ear to shoulder) while dropping the opposite shoulder. You should feel a stretch between the shoulder and the neck.
Hip Flexor Stretch: Kneel with front and back legs bent at 90 degrees. Gently lean forward stretching the back leg, until you feel a stretch in your back leg. Hold for 30 secs.

Try this out and soon you will notice results, like pain relief, and more movement in your joints.

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