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By: Abbey Colley, MS, ACSM EP-C
I’m going to walk you through some stretches you can do at home, by yourself. These are great options to do either after a workout to cool down, or just throughout the day for minor aches and pains. Follow along with the photos below, doing whatever you’re able to. If anything hurts, stop, and be sure to stay active!
Hold each of these stretches GENTLY for about 30 seconds on each side.
Sit toward the front edge of a chair, straighten one leg out in front of you with toes up. Maintaining good posture with a straight back, lean forward, hinging at the hip until you feel a gentle pull down the back of your thigh.
Sit comfortably in a chair with a stool or coffee table (whatever you have to elevate your foot is fine) in front of you. With good posture, rest your foot on the stool with your knee as straight as it will go to feel a pull down the back of your thigh. Start with a shorter surface to rest the foot on, the higher the surface, the more intense the stretch.
Stand holding onto a sturdy chair or counter top with a stool behind you. Place your foot on the stool while pressing your hips forward to straighten your posture until you feel a stretch through the front of your hip and down the front of your thigh. Start with a shorter surface to rest the foot on. The higher the surface, the more intense the stretch.
Sit in a chair and cross one foot over the opposite thigh, bringing the knee up toward your chest. With good posture, wrap your arms around the knee, hugging it into your chest until you feel a stretch through the outer hip/buttock of the leg you’re hugging.
Sit in a chair and cross one ankle over the opposite knee, letting the knee relax down, lower leg parallel to the floor. Maintain a straight spine, lean forward, hinging at the hip until you feel a stretch in the back of your hip/buttock.
This stretch can be done seated or standing, whatever is more comfortable. Bring one straight arm across your body and grab it with your opposite hand. Using that hand, pull your arm toward the opposite shoulder until you feel a stretch behind your shoulder and in your upper back.
Sitting with good posture, place one hand behind your back if able. If not, hand at your side is fine. Gently tilt your head away from the arm behind your back until you feel a stretch across the top of your shoulder and up the side of your neck.
Sitting in a chair with arm rests, support yourself with one arm on the chair and bring your opposite arm up and over your head. Lean toward your supportive arm, elongating the side with arm overhead until you feel a stretch.
Standing in a doorway, hold onto the door frame with one hand and reach the other arm up and over your head. Lean toward the frame to reach and grab high on the door frame to feel a stretch down your side.
Standing in a doorway, place your forearm on the door frame with a 90-degree bend at the elbow and shoulder. Rotate your torso away from the door frame to feel a stretch across the front of the shoulder and chest on that side.
Standing in a doorway, let your arm hang and place your palm low on the door frame, near your hip. Rotate your torso away from the door frame to feel a stretch down the arm along the bicep.