Flexibility Exercises

Upper Body Exercises The following exercises are useful for improving flexibility in the upper body. Click on the icons below to see video clips for each of the exercises.
PECTORAL STRETCH
Purpose To stretch pectorals. Position Stand erect in doorway with arms raised 45 degrees , elbows bent, and hands grasping doorjambs; feet in front stride position. Movement Press forward on door frame, contracting the arms maximally for three seconds. Relax and shift weight forward on legs so muscles on front of shoulder joint and chest are stretched; hold. Repeat with arms raised 90 degrees. Repeat with arms raised 135 degrees. Note Useful to prevent or correct round shoulders and sunken chest.

LATERAL TRUNK STRETCHER
Purpose To stretch arm and trunk muscles. Position Sit on the floor. Movement Stretch left arm over head to right. Bend to right at waist, reaching as far to right as possible with left arm and as far as possible to the left with right arm; hold. Do not let trunk rotate. Repeat on opposite side. For less stretch, overhead arm may be bent at elbow.

Extend elbows. . grasp right thumb with left hand and pull gently downward. Movement Cross right arm over left. causing right arm to rotate laterally.Note This exercise can be done in the standing position but is less effective. Reverse arm position and repeat on left arm. Raise arms overhead behind ears. ARM PRETZEL Purpose To stretch lateral rotators of the shoulder. palms up. Movement Stretch as high as possible. Hold. Position Cross arms and turn palms of hands together. Position Stand or sit with elbows flexed at right angles. ARM STRETCHER Purpose To stretch arm and chest muscles. Stretch and hold.

attempting to touch fingers in front of ankles. . stepping out of the "hole." Note Arms finish in a palms-up position. back and legs. then slide the wand under the hips and (c) step over the wand (from back to front) with the left foot. Movement (a) Bend forward and swing right leg around the outside of the right arm and over the wand (from front to back) into the "hole'' made by the arms and wand. bend knees and wrap arms around legs. shoulders.TWO-HAND ANKLE WRAP Purpose To stretch the muscles of the arms. Movement Bend forward and place the arms between knees. (b) Slide the wand around the back of the body by bringing the left arm over the head. hands shoulder width apart. Do not release the wand at any time. grasp wand with palms down. WAND STEP-THROUGH Position Stand. Hold 10 seconds.

or discus and shot put). use a door frame for resistance or these sports actions can be practiced using elastic bands or inner tubes (attached to fixed objects) as resistance. racket sports forehand. backhand. turn back to back while swinging the opposite arms overhead. attempting to rotate the trunk as if performing the skill. TRUNK MOTIONS Purpose To aid one-handed throwing and striking skills (for example. hands still grasped. If no partner is available. Each lifts the leg over the near arm and steps into the middle of the ``hole'' (formed by the arms). and/or two-handed throwing or striking skills (for example. Note Avoid overstretching by too vigorous bouncing. baseball throw. holding opposite hands. . step out of the hole with the opposite legs and end facing each other. Movement Number one starts with the left leg and number two starts with the right leg.WRING THE DISHRAG Position Partners stand facing each other. Partner grasps hand(s) and resists movement while the performer turns the trunk away from the partner. Alternate roles with the partner. Position Assume a position at the end of the backswing for any skill listed above. making a series of gentle bouncing movements. batting a softball or executing a golf drive or hammer throw). and serve.

Do not allow either knee to lock. Start by swinging backward and forward rhythmically and continuously. batting a softball or executing a golf drive or hammer throw). Click on the icons below to see video clips for each of the exercises. then relax and bend the trunk forward. club. Gradually increase the speed and vigor of the swing to finally resemble the actual skill. Return to starting position and repeat with opposite leg. swing easily to avoid torn muscles. or arm with or without a weight on the implement or on the wrist. the arms can be used to pull the chest toward the legs. bat. . Hold for three seconds. or discus and shot put). Trunk Exercises The following exercises are useful for improving flexibility in the trunk. Note If a weight is added. and/or two-handed throwing or striking skills (for example. As flexibility improves. racket sports forehand. Note This is useful in relief of backache and correction of lordosis. and serve. keeping both legs straight. ONE LEG STRETCHER Purpose To stretch lower back and hamstring muscles. backhand. Position Stand and swing the racket. baseball throw. Position Stand with one foot on a bench. Movement Contract hamstrings and gluteals by pressing down on bench with the heel for several seconds.ARM & TRUNK MOTIONS Purpose To aid one-handed throwing and striking skills (for example. trying to touch the head to the knee.

Hold for three seconds. Reverse position and repeat on opposite side.LEG HUG Purpose To stretch lower back and gluteals. Lift hips. hold. Position Hook-lying position. Movement Contract gluteals and lumbar muscles. Stretch and hold. Note Useful for backache and lordosis. place left hand on floor behind buttocks. . Relax and pull knees to chest with arms as hard as possible. left leg bent and crossed over the right knee. Position Sit with right leg extended. Movement Place right arm on the left side of the left leg and push against that leg while turning the trunk as far as possible to the left. TRUNK TWISTER Purpose To stretch the trunk muscles and muscles on the outside of hip.

Movement (a) Bend forward and swing right leg around the outside of the right arm and over the wand (from front to back) into the ``hole'' made by the arms and wand. grasp wand with palms down. (b) Slide the wand around the back of the body by bringing the left arm over the head. shoulders. back and legs. stepping out of the ``hole. WAND STEP-THROUGH Position Stand. Movement Bend forward and place the arms between knees. hands shoulder width apart. attempting to touch fingers in front of ankles. . Do not release the wand at any time.'' Note Arms finish in a palms-up position. then slide the wand under the hips and (c) step over the wand (from back to front) with the left foot. Hold 10 seconds.TWO HAND ANKLE WRAP Purpose To stretch the muscles of the arms. bend knees and wrap arms around legs.

then slide the wand under the hips and (c) step over the wand (from back to front) with the left foot. grasp wand with palms down. hands shoulder width apart.'' Note Arms finish in a palms-up position. stepping out of the ``hole. Movement Number one starts with the left leg and number two starts with the right leg.WRING THE DISHRAG Position Stand. Click on the icons below to see video clips for each of the exercises. hands still grasped. turn back to back while swinging the opposite arms overhead. holding opposite hands. Each lifts the leg over the near arm and steps into the middle of the ``hole'' (formed by the arms). Movement (a) Bend forward and swing right leg around the outside of the right arm and over the wand (from front to back) into the ``hole'' made by the arms and wand. Do not release the wand at any time.1 The following exercises are useful for improving flexibility in the lower body. ARM & TRUNK MOTIONS Position Partners stand facing each other. Lower Body Exercises . step out of the hole with the opposite legs and end facing each other. (b) Slide the wand around the back of the body by bringing the left arm over the head. .

SITTING STRETCHER Purpose To stretch muscles on inside of thighs. Note Useful for pregnant women and anyone whose thighs tend to rotate inward causing backache. Relax and lower heels to floor as far as possible. . knock-knees and flat feet. Hold on to a support with the hands. place hands on knees or ankles and lean forearms against knees. Keep toes pointed straight ahead or slightly inward. Movement Hold three seconds. hold. hold.LOWER LEG STRETCHER Purpose To stretch the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. resist (contract) by attempting to raise knees. Position Stand with the toes on a thick book or lower rung of a stall bar. Position Sit with soles of feet together. Movement Rise up on toes (contract) as far as possible and hold for three seconds. Note Static stretch may alleviate spasms or cramps in calf muscles. then relax and press the knees toward the floor as far as possible.

Repeat on opposite side. Movement Place opposite hand on hip and push the hips toward the wall. trying to touch the head to the knee. . Note This is useful in relief of backache and correction of lordosis. Movement Contract hamstrings and gluteals by pressing down on bench with the heel for several seconds. Do not allow either knee to lock. and inside of thigh. Note Useful for preventing some cases of dysmenorrhea. As flexibility improves. then relax and bend the trunk forward.ONE-LEG STRETCHER Purpose To stretch lower back and hamstring muscles. the arms can be used to pull the chest toward the legs. Hold. Position Stand with side to a wall and place the elbow and forearm against the wall at shoulder height. hip flexors. keeping both legs straight. Return to starting position and repeat with opposite leg. Tilt the pelvis backward. tightening the gluteal and abdominal muscles. Position Stand with one foot on a bench. Push forward and sideward (45˚) with the hips. BILLIG'S EXERCISE Purpose To stretch pelvic fascia. Hold for three seconds. Do not twist the hips.

Repeat on opposite side. SHIN STRETCHER Purpose To relieve shin muscle soreness by stretching muscles on front of shin. . Position Kneel on both knees. Note Useful for those who have lordosis or lower back problems.HIP & THIGH STRETCHER Purpose To stretch iliopsoas and quadriceps. Repeat on opposite side. place hands on floor for balance. Position Place right knee directly above right ankle and stretch left leg backward so knee touches floor. Note Except when they are sore. Hold. Caution: Do not bend front knee more than 90˚. most people need to strengthen rather than stretch these muscles. If necessary. turn to right. hold. and press down and stretch right ankle with right hand. Movement Move pelvis forward. Movement Press pelvis forward and downward.

left leg bent and crossed over the right knee. Position Start in a hook-lying position. (2) push heel toward ceiling and pull toes toward shin. . Bring right knee to chest and grasp toes with right hand. Position Sit with right leg extended.HAMSTRING STRETCHER Purpose To stretch the muscles on the back of the hip. Reverse position and repeat on opposite side. (3) attempt to straighten knee. Stretch and hold. thigh. knee. Stretch and hold. place left hand on floor behind buttocks. Place left hand on back of right thigh. and ankle. Movement (1) Pull knee toward chest. Movement Place right arm on the left side of the left leg and push against that leg while turning the trunk as far as possible to the left. Repeat on left side. TRUNK TWIST Purpose To stretch the trunk muscles and muscles on the outside of hip.

Lower Body Exercises . Movement Place right hand on floor behind right calf and roll trunk backwards. Position Sit in widest possible side-stride position. Position Stand with left side to wall. Cross left leg behind right and turn toes of both feet out slightly. Adjust until a pull is felt on the front of the right thigh. Lean to left on elbow and bend right knee 90˚. left arm extended and palm of hand flat on wall for support. Hold. LATERAL THIGH & HIP STRETCH Purpose To stretch the iliotibial band and tensor fascia lata. not on the inside of the right knee. Click on the icons below to see video clips for each of the exercises. QUADRICEP STRETCH Purpose To stretch the rectus femoris (two-joint muscle on front of thigh). Repeat on left leg. .2 The following exercises are useful for improving flexibility in the lower body.

Bend left knee and bring foot close to buttocks. Hold. Clasp hands behind back. arms extended at shoulder level. Let bent knee rotate outward so trunk can move forward. Reverse leg position and lower knees to right. Position Sit on the floor with the feet against the wall or an immovable object.Movement Bend left knee slightly and shift pelvis toward wall (left) as trunk bends toward right. BACK SAVER HAMSTRING STRETCH Purpose To stretch the hamstring and calf muscles. Lean forward keeping back flat. Position Start in hook-lying position. SPINE TWIST Purpose To stretch trunk rotators and lateral rotators of the thighs. hold and repeat on each leg. Adjust until pull is felt down outside of left hip and thigh. . keeping lower back as straight as possible. Movement Bend forward from hips. keep arms and shoulders on floor while touching knees to floor on left. Repeat on other side. Movement Cross left knee over right. Stretch and hold.

back and legs. shoulders. Movement Bend forward and place the arms between knees. hands shoulder width apart. stepping out of the ``hole. bend knees and wrap arms around legs. Do not release the wand at any time. WAND STEP-THROUGH Position Stand. grasp wand with palms down. Hold 10 seconds. .TWO-HAND ANKLE WRAP Purpose To stretch the muscles of the arms. Movement (a) Bend forward and swing right leg around the outside of the right arm and over the wand (from front to back) into the ``hole'' made by the arms and wand. (b) Slide the wand around the back of the body by bringing the left arm over the head. attempting to touch fingers in front of ankles. then slide the wand under the hips and (c) step over the wand (from back to front) with the left foot.'' Note Arms finish in a palms-up position.

. hands still grasped. step out of the hole with the opposite legs and end facing each other. turn back to back while swinging the opposite arms overhead. Each lifts the leg over the near arm and steps into the middle of the ``hole'' (formed by the arms). Movement Number one starts with the left leg and number two starts with the right leg.WRING THE DISHRAG Position Partners stand facing each other. holding opposite hands.

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