Stretching

INTRODUCTIONStretching – Part 1 of 4 – Introduction

If you are a professional athlete, a pro in the making, a weekend athlete or someone who gets a sore back, neck and shoulders from your daily work – a few of the incredible benefits gained from stretching your entire body correctly on a daily basis are:

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GOOD TO KNOW

Feel free to add different stretches BUT make sure that you follow the following principles.

The following are the stretching principals that have yet to fail us or the people we teach them to:

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The descriptions are written as though you are stretching at the beach, on the sand, next to a Volleyball net and pole - thus the words 'sand' and 'pole' are being used.

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Calf Stretch

Interchange the word 'floor' for 'sand' and the word 'wall' for 'pole' when stretching indoors.

CALF

Push a small "hill/mound" of sand up against the pole – place your right heel at the bottom of the "hill" and your toes at the top of the "hill" / against the pole.

Keeping your right leg straight (don't bend your right knee) lean forward while bringing your right hip toward the pole. Then, slowly rotate your right foot side to side.

Stretching – Part 2 of 4 - Legs

Make sure that you remember to:

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Repeat for your left calf.

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Foot Flexion and Shin Stretch

FOOT FLEXION AND SHIN

Place your right foot about 2 cm - 6" away from the pole – (flat surface).

Bend your right knee into the pole and rest your knee against the pole while making sure that your right heel stays flat on the sand.

It usually takes a few times to find the correct distance between your end of your toes and the pole. Make sure that you keep your heel flat on the sand AND your toes are as far away from the pole as possible AND your knee is touching the pole.

Repeat for your left Shin and Foot Flexion.

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Quadriceps Stretch – side view

QUADRICEPS

Stand with both feet together.

Keep your left foot on the sand, and fold your right foot behind you, grab hold of the top of your right foot with your right hand and completely 'fold' back the lower half of your right leg behind the upper part of your right leg.

Do your best to balance only on your left foot without holding onto anything with your left hand – if you are unable to balance yourself, hold onto

Stand up straight with your shoulders back - do not lean forward or sideways.

Bring your knees together and lightly squeeze them together.

Make sure that you remember to:

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Repeat for your left quadriceps.
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Full Body Stretch

FULL BODY

Lie flat on your back with your legs flat on the sand. Point your toes away from your body. Lay both arms flat on the sand above your head, keep your hands open and close together.

Reach your hands as far as possible above your head, while also pointing your toes away from your body, as far as possible – (Pretend someone is pulling your feet and hands in opposite directions.)

HAMSTRING AND LOWER BACKStretching – Part 3 of 4 – Legs & Hips

Lie on your back with your legs straight out and flat on the sand, put a strap, belt or towel around your right foot.

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Hamstring and Lower Back Stretch

Then pull your right leg upwards toward your upper body as far as possible, make sure that both legs remain straight / your knees must not bend!

After holding the stretch for about 15 seconds:

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Make sure that you remember to:

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Repeat for your left hamstring
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Back of Leg Stretch

BACK OF LEG

Kneel with both knees on the sand, "standing" as tall as possible

Keep your left knee on the sand and stretch your right leg straight out in front of you and put your right heel in the sand – keep your left leg in the shape of a 90 degree angle and your right leg straight.

Point the toes of your right foot forward. From your waist only, bring your right shoulder toward your right knee - KEEP YOUR RIGHT LEG STRAIGHT, DO NOT BEND YOUR RIGHT KNEE.

When you get your shoulder as close to your knee as possible, flex your foot / bring your toes back toward your knee and then flatten your foot out – keep flexing your foot back and forth while bringing your right shoulder closer to your right knee.

Make sure that you remember to:

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Switch knee and foot position and repeat for left leg
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Hip Stretch

HIP

Sit on the sand with your shoulders back, your hands on the sand – (shoulder width apart and slightly behind your hips), with your knees bent and feet flat on the sand.

Push up off the sand so that your arms / hands are supporting your body and your butt is not touching the sand.

Place the outside of your right foot / ankle on your left thigh right 'above' the left knee (where you would place your foot if you where 'crossing your legs' when sitting in a chair).

The only parts of your body that will be touching the sand will be your 2 hands and your left foot.

While pushing forward with your right knee (attempting to 'flatten out' your right leg) bring your butt closer to your left calf and slightly sway your hips from side to side.

Change position to stretch your left hip – (place your right foot in the sand and your left foot on your right knee).

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Hips and Back Stretch

HIPS AND BACK

Kneel with both knees on the sand, "standing" as tall as possible. Keep your left knee on the sand and place your right foot flat on the sand in front of you – keep both legs in the shape of 90 degree angles.

Bring your right shoulder down to your right knee (bow to your right knee) by bending only your torso (keep both legs in the shape of 90 degree angles) – flatten your torso onto your right thigh.

'Push' your right hip down toward the sand.

Switch the positions of your knee and foot (change so that your right knee is on the sand and your left foot is in front)

Repeat for your left hip.

GROIN AND SHOULDER

Stretching – Part 4 of 4 – Upper Body & Key Points

Kneeling on both knees, keep your feet touching each other and spread your knees as far apart as possible – (you will be in a 'frog' position)

Sit back onto your heels – keep 'pushing' your knees further apart through out the stretch. Bend from the waist only (try to keep your butt as close as possible to your heels throughout the entire stretch)

Place your left elbow in front of your left knee as far as possible and lay your left forearm on the sand straight out in front of your left knee (in a straight line forward off of your left knee).

Reach your right hand out and place it on the sand as far out as possible in front of your left hand (your left knee, left forearm and right hand will all be in a straight line forward and your right elbow will not be touching the sand).

GROIN & SHOULDER STRETCH

GROIN & SHOULDER STRETCH

Remember to keep your butt as close as possible to your heels, now rotate your shoulders so that most of your right arm touches the sand and your right shoulder is as close as possible to the sand and flatten out your entire back and shoulders.

Then rotate your shoulders the opposite way so your right shoulder is as high as possible off the sand and the only part of your right arm that is touching the sand is your right hand.

Switch arm and hand position so your right elbow and forearm are straight forward in front of your right knee and your left hand is in front of your right hand.

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SHOULDER & BACK STRETCH

SHOULDER & BACK STRETCH

SHOULDER AND UPPER BACK

Stand about 1-2 feet away from the side of the pole. Raise your right arm up to the level of your right shoulder. Bend your arm at the elbow, (raise only your forearm/hand so it is pointing straight up).

Place your right elbow, forearm and hand on the pole and step forward so that you square up your hips to the pole while keeping your elbow, forearm and hand on the pole.

Repeat for you left shoulder

SHOULDER & BACK STRETCH #2

SHOULDER & BACK STRETCH #2

SHOULDER AND UPPER BACK - #2

Stand about 2 feet in front of the pole – place both hands on the pole as high as you can reach. Lean forward / push your hips in toward the pole, while keeping your shoulders back.

While keeping your neck and head vertical – slowly push your neck and head toward your left and right shoulders.

KEY POINTS

There are many other stretches that can be done, feel free to add them to the stretches demonstrated - BUT make sure that you carefully follow the following principles:

following-principles

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