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Stretching
 
What is stretching?
Stretches are either dynamic (meaning they involve motion) or static (meaning they involve no motion).

Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body and gradually increasing reach, speed of movement, or both. An example of dynamic stretching would be slow, controlled leg swings, arm swings, or torso twists. Dynamic stretching is best used prior to athletic events and activities. The motions used during the "dynamic warm up" often mimic the movements that will be made during the athletic event or performance.

Static stretching involves holding a position. That is, you stretch to the farthest point and hold the stretch.

Why Stretch?
Stretching is useful for both injury prevention and injury treatment.If done properly, stretching increases flexibility and this directly translates into reduced risk of injury. The reason is that a muscle/tendon group with a greater range of motion will be less likely to experience tears when used actively. Stretching also is thought to improve recovery and may enhance athletic performance. Additionally, increased flexibility of the neck, shoulders, and upper back may improve respiratory function. The increased blood flow to the muscles aids in the flexibility gains from stretching and is an important component for injury prevention.

How do I stretch?

It is a good idea to start with the neck and progress down to the feet, or vise versa. It is also very important to relax during the stretching routine. It should not be a rushed event.

Stretching can be done prior to and post exercise. Prior to stretching, foam rolling should be performed (see foam rolling). Start with static stretching and move to dynamic stretching if desired or needed.

For static stretching, hold each stretch for a minimum of 20-30 seconds. Repeat for each muscle group, and stretch at least two times through all muscle groups.

Below are stretches that focus on the most common tight muscle groups in which I have found in postural assessments among my clients on a day to day basis. I have designed the stretching to progress from each muscle group strategically.

You can start with the first picture posted below and follow it in order to the the last for best results.
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #1) Hamstring
Laying on back, pull one leg into chest. Use both hands and pull gently into body while extending leg straight up in air. Point heal of foot up. Can alternate between pointing heal and toes.


Sweaty Netty's Fitness #2) Glutes/Piriformis
Laying on back, cross one leg over the other. Use both hands to gently pull bottom leg up into body.


Sweaty Netty's Fitness #3) Lower back
Lying on your back, cross leg over body while keeping hips as forward as possible. Use the opposite hand to reach onto knee and apply gentle pressure downward. Opposite arm is straight out at side.


Sweaty Netty's Fitness #4) PIRIFORMIS



Laying on back, pull leg up into body and over slightly, then use both hands and gently pull at knee up and over into body.


Sweaty Netty's Fitness #5) Hip Flexor/Quadriceps
Assume the "football position" and lean hips forward. Stay tall with your chest and lean back and over with arm to advance the stretch. May need to put a soft cushion of some sort under knee for support. (An airex balance pad work great for this).
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #6) Glutes
Seated upright with legs straight, cross one leg over other, then use both hands and gently pull at knee up and into body, while keeping your chest up and tall.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #7) IT Band
Seated upright cross one leg on top of other leg at the knee. Move leg that is on the ground up and into your body as far as comfortable/possible.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #8) Hamstrings/Calfs
Seated upright, lift chest up tall and reach out towards toes as if you wanted to touch them. Do no bend back to "hunch" over. Touching the toes is not necessary to feel this stretch correctly.


Sweaty Netty's Fitness #9) Groin
Squating down keep your heels close together and use both arms at the elbow to apply pressure outwards at both knees.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #10) Adductors (Inner leg)
Standing up, keep toes pointing straight forward and take a wide step apart with your legs. Lean to one side while keeps your chest up and weight leaning back and through your heals.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #11) Quadriceps
Standing up, use one hand to reach back and grab your foot by your toes, keeping your knees as close together as possible and chest tall pull up on foot.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #12) Calfs (Gastrocnemius)
Standing up, place one foot on the wall and keep your leg and knee locked straight. Lean up and into the wall with your hips and chest.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #13) Calfs (Soleus)
Standing up, put one foot up against the wall, both toes pointing forward. Keep your back foot forward and leg and knees locked, lean front knee in towards the wall.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #14) Calfs/Behind knees
Standing up, pull one foot up at the toes while keeping the leg and knee locked straight. Use the same side arm and hand to reach down and touch your toes.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #15) Hamstrings/Calfs
Standing up, cross one foot over the other and using both hands reach down and touch to your toes.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #16) Latissimus Dorsis (Back)
Standing up, cross one arm over and use the other arm to apply pressure and pull away at the elbow.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #17) Triceps
Standing up, lift one arm up and back at the side of your head (by ears), then use your opposite hand to reach over your head and grab and pull back on the arm at the elbow.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #18) Neck
Standing up, relax head and neck as much as possible. Use hand to apply pressure straight down on head.The more relaxed your are, the deeper you will feel the stretch down your neck and center of back.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #19) Neck (Right side)
Standing up, relax head and neck as much as possible. Look down and over to the right, then use your left hand to apply pressure by pulling away from the right side.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness #20) Neck (Left side)
Standing up, relax head and neck as much as possible. Look down and over to the left, then use your right hand to apply pressure by pulling away from the left side.
   
Sweaty Netty's Fitness My son Toby was a big helper, and says "yah" for stretching! You should feel better already... ... ...
 
 
 
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