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6 stretches in 6 minutes for 6 reasons

These 6 stretches that are to follow have been selected for a particular reason. These stretches are stretching some of the postural muscles in our bodies. Postural muscles are muscles that are working hard all day everyday to correct or maintain posture. Its for this simple reason that we stretch them daily because theyre the muscles most likely in the body to tighten up and put everything out. Imagine your body being a car and this is its regular service that needs to be done. Its easy and very effective and should take only 6 minutes of your time. *Hold all stretches for 30 sec, push to the point where you feel the stretch, follow diagram* 1. This is the calf stretch (back of lower leg), very important stretch as the calf muscles are always contracting when we walk so they are in use most of the day so we need to release the tension. Teaching points: Both feet facing forward, shoulders to be square. Both hands on the wall, body tilting forward. Keep both heels on floor and bend front knee. Propel body forward gently. Should be feeling a stretch, back of lower leg.

2. This is the quadriceps stretch (front of thigh) another muscle that is under load throughout the day. Important to stretch because tendons attach the quadriceps to the kneecap and they need to be kept supple. Teaching points: Standing nice and tall shoulders back head up. Be close to a wall if youre concerned about keeping balance. Pull one leg back with either hand.

3. Standing hamstring stretch (back of the thigh) hamstring muscles that are tight and causing discomfort can often be linked to lower back pain and tight hip flexors. Teaching points: One leg bent at the knee and the opposite leg straight. Place all body weight on the bet leg, with a nice straight back. Imagine youre trying to sit down on a chair behind you.

4. Hip flexor stretch, along with the hamstring this is probably the tightest muscle in most bodies especially people who work in an office and who are sedentary most of the day. People with lower back pain will most likely have tight hip flexors and this is where the problem stems from. Teaching points: Use a matt if possible, one knee on the floor. Take a big step with the other foot and lean forward. Rotate hips forward to maximise stretch.

5. Lower back stretch, subtle stretch to just lengthen out the muscles around sacrum. Teaching points:

Lay flat on your back and try to relax. Tuck both knees up toward your chest. Try to pull knees towards chin creating a rolling motion.

6. Chest stretch, often a real tight muscle due to being exercise too much and no being lengthened. Teaching points: One hand on the edge of a wall/doorframe. Open out the body and look opposite way.

This here is an example of how we should be sitting when operating a computer, do you do this? Main points to gather from this diagram are: -Knees at 90 degree angle to hips. -Sitting with a nice straight back (tucking your chair in close toward the desk will aid this. - Shoulders back and together so were nice and tall not slumped. -Neck to be straight and ALWAYS! Have your computer in line with your eyes so your neck wont slope down.