Health Blog

1. Back Stretch (Flexibility)

Position: Sit at the edge of a chair, feet apart with knees and ankles aligned. Make sure chair is stable.

Movement: Reach both hands toward the floor and relax your head. Hold for 10-30 seconds.
Goal: To place palms on the floor (this may not happen for a few days, weeks, or months; do not be discouraged or try to push beyond your limits).

2. Hip, Thigh, & Calf Stretch (Flexibility)

Position: Always stand by a chair or a counter for support. Feet are shoulder width apart. One leg back and one leg forward. Stand tall with shoulders back and abdominals in. Check that your hips are square, toes are pointing forward and the front knee is aligned with ankle.

Hip and calf stretch (A)

Tuck the buttocks under and straighten out the back knee, or place back leg on a chair (knee behind hip) and lean hip to the chair. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

Thigh stretch (B)

Grab the back foot – bringing it toward the buttocks. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

Modifications:
Hold onto a counter for support. Place another chair behind you. Place one leg back and onto the back chair.

Goals: *Keep the knee behind the hip.
*Squeeze your buttocks and pull your hip forward.

3. Seated Thigh Stretch (Flexibility)
*This is a progressive stretch. Start with stage 1 until you no longer feel a stretch, THEN move into stage 2, etc. . . .

Position:
Sit on the edge of a chair, one leg is bent at 90 degrees (knee over ankle) and the other leg is straight out with toe elevated toward ceiling (do not lock knee)

Movement:
1st stage: Place both hands on the bent leg and lean chest toward bent knee. Hold for 20-30 seconds. 
Repeat on the other side.

2nd stage: Move both hands toward the floor, straddling the bent leg. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
Repeat on the other side.

3rd stage: Straddling the straight leg, place hands on the floor. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

To Advance:
When you are comfortable with the 3rd stage of the seated thigh stretch rotate your toes side to side holding each position for 20-30 seconds.

Modifications: Stand by a counter or chair for support, chest elevated with shoulder blades squeezing
together. Place the heel of one foot on a stool and push tailbone backwards. Supporting knee remains
bent. Hold for 15-20 seconds.

4. Abdominal Contraction with Diaphragmatic Breathing (Strength)

Position: Either lying with knees bent or sitting with back flat.

Movement: Pull abdominals in toward the lower back as you exhale or breathe out. Allow the abdominals to relax, or pouch out, as you inhale or breathe in. Repeat 15-25 times. If you are doing this correctly, you will feel a pressure build up in your lower back as you exhale.

Goal: To retrain the body to breathe correctly.