My uncle recently sent me a video giving a 20-minute stretching video meant to stretch your entire body. Typically I would stretch my legs and hips each day, and then on the weekend, I would focus on both the upper and lower body. It is crucial to keep the entire body flexible because it could result in tightness in places that you do not stretch frequently. After reviewing this video, I include my usual calf stretches on the slant board and vibration machine on top of the hamstring stretching device. The only other stretch I would include is called the advanced IT band stretch. I will explain the method I abide by each day, and hopefully, it can give you an ability to stretch your entire body quickly each day. I would recommend giving one day during the week to stretch your whole body with further stretches that you can research or will be in future blog entries.
A video called “20 Minute Beginner Flexibility Routine V2! (FOLLOW ALONG)” made by Tom Merrik displays an easy beginner’s routine that I use. Do not be distressed by the use of beginner because most pro athletes need more advanced stretching to account for their intense lifestyle. If you were to follow through with this video and the other stretches I recommend, they would be fantastic for you. The first stretch he depicts focuses on the neck, and without proper neck stretching, it leads to prominent tightness in the shoulder region. The next two stretches work on the chest, shoulders, arms, and back. We use these muscles mostly throughout the day to write, pick things up, and other elements, making it good to keep flexible. The fourth stretch works on back rotation, reducing tightness of the shoulders, and helping your overall upper body perform better.
The fifth stretch focuses on stretching the hips and legs to take the pressure off the lower back. The sixth stretch highlights the hip flexors and glute muscles that we use to sit, stand, walk, etc. The seventh stretch is a traditional yoga pose that stretches the full length of your back, reducing tightness throughout your whole body, and assisting your posture. The eighth stretch works the quadriceps (one good thing he says is squeezing the glute on the side of the leg you are stretching, which I have found enhance the stretch even more). If you cannot reach your quads, stand up and pull your quads into the same position in which you can feel the same stretch. The ninth stretch helps release the hip flexor muscles, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and your hips in general. The tenth stretch is a hamstring stretch helping you walk. If you cannot do it on your knees of the back leg sit in the floor and reach towards your toes. The hamstring stretch device also helps with this muscle.
The eleventh stretch helps release the hips, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps from a new side, improving the tightest area for me. It works on mobility with your back, also helping reduce tightness in the lower back area that can help make sleep more comfortable and enhance posture. The last stretch works hamstrings and its mobility. This is probably the most challenging stretch, so it would be okay to avoid it entirely. At the end of the video, the way he is sitting helps release the hip area if that is something you want to add.
I have explained several forms of calf stretching using the vibration platform and the raise calf slant board. Those stretches reduce tightness in the Achilles heel, calf muscles, and hamstrings. Doing this will make it easier to walk or do anything standing. The hamstring stretching device can stretch both the left, right, and center part of the hamstring. In my other blog post, I showed you a straight hamstring stretch on the ground. If you use the device and angle it to your right and left side, it can reduce tightness on all sides of the hamstring.
The final stretch I have never mentioned before is the advanced IT band stretch, which is very easy to do. Very well fit gives instructions on performing the exercise and provides a picture of what it should look like in this link. They explain that you get in a push-up position and slide your right knee as close to the right hand. Angle the ankle of the right leg away from your body and then push your left leg back as far as you comfortably can. Keep your hips square on the floor and you can either remain in an upright position or move your chest closer to the ground (moving the chest closer to the ground intensifies the stretch). Repeat this process on the left leg putting the right leg back as far as you can.
Holding these stretches for thirty to forty seconds is important to have benefits. Anything less than that is not enough to stretch your body. I want to stress to keep breathing and, if you wish to, breathe in through your nose and slowly breath out from your mouth as it helps release tightness in your body and get deeper into the stretch. I want you to try completing these stretches, but if you cannot do it each day, try to do it as much as possible. Although, it is essential always to stretch your legs (hamstrings, quadriceps, calf, hip flexors, and hip) to help you walk and take tension off of your lower back. I started this stretching routine with the video a few weeks ago and have found dramatic progress in my physical performance and overall flexibility.