Feeling stiff as a board? It’s time to start unwinding your tight muscles.
If you are among the legion people who consider themselves, “inflexible,” let’s start doing something about that! Rather than lingering on the dangers of being inflexible (risk of injury from daily activities), let’s focus on the importance and purpose of flexibility. Flexibility is essential for performing everyday motions with ease and without injury: think about bending down, turning your neck or reaching for an object high on a shelf. While we take these motions for granted and perform them countless times a day, they will become more difficult if we let flexibility fall by the wayside.
Move more and move differently.
If you consider yourself, “inflexible,” remember that anyone can increase their flexibility given the right kind of stretching. All you need to know is where to start and with that we can help you. Here are some stretches we have come up with that will break you into a flexibility routine gently.
- Spinal twist: Lay supine with legs straight. Inhale and bring your left knee up toward your chest. Exhale and lower your left knee across your body. Extend your left arm and let your neck turn left so you are looking back over your shoulder. Hold 30 seconds, repeat on the other side.
- Upper shoulder stretch: Reverse the effects of sitting at a desk while sitting or standing. Use a towel for this one, placing it over your left shoulder. Grab the top of the towel with your right hand and the bottom with your left creating tension on the towel. Pull up with your left hand to stretch the shoulder. Hold 10 seconds, switch hands and repeat.
- The chest stretch: stand up as straight as possible with feet hip-width apart. Straighten your arms out like wings and raise them high and then lower them over the back of your shoulders while squeezing the shoulder blades together. Return your arms in front of your body and repeat, each time lowering the arms toward shoulder level.
Stretching could be the most important thing that is not a part of your routine.
By keeping our muscles pliant and flexible, we can reverse much of the damage inherent with poor posture and sedentary lifestyles and keep ourselves independent into old age. Let’s work together to start breaking you out of that stiff mold and restoring flexibility to your life today!
Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.