This video shows four
relaxing stretches. But first:
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.
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
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
Now on to the video.
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From the Moving With Mike DVD
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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.