Four Stretches

This video shows four relaxing stretches. But first:

Why Do We Stretch?

The concept of stretching is based on the idea that each muscle has a certain length that it is supposed to be. Often, our muscles become shorter than they are supposed to be for various reasons.

Short muscles will feel tight and can restrict normal range of motion causing poor posture and even joint problems. We stretch in the hopes of returning those short muscles back to their intended length.

When to Stretch?

I believe that stretching is most effective when you do it after you’ve exercised. In my Moving With Mike DVDs, each workout is concluded with about 5 minutes of stretching.

After you’ve exercised, your muscles are warm and more pliable, and thus more easily stretched. Also, exercise is basically just repeatedly contracting different muscles. After all that contracting (squeezing and shortening the muscles), it’s great to stretch them back out.

Finally, stretching is a relaxing and gentle way to finish an exercise session.

Now on to the video.


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From the Moving With Mike DVD



Explanation

Tips: Hold all stretches for 30 seconds or more. Go to the point that you feel the muscles stretching. Do not go past that point to where it starts to hurt. Always ease into a stretch gently.

Chest Stretch – Bring your arms back behind your body and grab one hand with your other hand. Keeping the hands together, raise your hands up and away from your body (you might not be able to go very far up). Pull the shoulder back and stick the chest out. You should feel this across your chest and on the front of your shoulders.

Arms Up – Now bring your arms in front of your body and grab one hand with the other hand. Then raise your arms up as high as you can go, keeping the hands together. Imagine your ribcage is pulling up and away from your hips and you are getting taller. You should feel the stretch in your stomach and below your shoulders.

Hamstrings – Sit down in a chair with both knees bent 90 degrees. Then bring your right foot forward and straighten the knee out until it is almost straight but still slightly bent. Keep both feet on the ground. Rest both hands on the other knee. Keeping a straight back, lean forward slowly at the hips until you feel a stretch on the back of your leg. After 30 seconds, sit back up straight, switch the feet, and come forward again to stretch the other leg.

Neck Over and Up – Tilt your head sideways bringing your ear towards your shoulder as far as possible. Then tilt your head up. Keep the teeth together and hold there. After 30 seconds come back down, tilt over to the other side, and raise up again. You should feel this on one side of your neck.

Try these stretches out. I think you'll like how they feel.



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