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Flexibility Exercises

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:25pm

Warming up before exercising is extremely important for everyone. A great way to warm up is by doing flexibility exercises. When you're warming up and stretching, you should no feel pain. Being relaxed is key. You should take slow, relaxed breaths.



Here are some exercises developed by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:



Lower back

Tighten your hip muscles and at the same time, tighten your abdominal muscles to flatten your lower back. Hold for 5 to 8 seconds, then relax. Repeat two or three times.

Pull your right leg toward your chest. If possible, keep the back of your head on the floor. Try to keep your lower back flat. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with your left leg.



Hip and groin

With arms supplying slight resistance on inside of legs, slowly push down your knees. Hold for 5 to 8 seconds.

Place one leg forward, while your knee of the other leg is resting on the floor. Without changing the position of the knee on the floor or the forward leg, lower the front of your hip downward. Hold for 30 seconds.



Knee and calf

Hold the top of your left foot with right hand and gently pull heel toward buttocks. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with other leg.

Stand close to a solid support, and lean on it with your forearms, head resting on hands. Bend one leg and place your foot on the ground in front of you, with the other leg straight behind. Slowly move your hips forward, keeping your lower back flat. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Do not bounce.



Shoulder

In a standing or sitting position, interlace your fingers. With your palms facing upward, push your arms slightly back and up. Hold for 15 seconds.

With your arms overhead, hold the elbow of one arm with the hand of your other arm. Gently pull the elbow behind your arm. Do slowly. Hold for 15 seconds. Stretch both arms.

Gently pull your elbow across your chest toward your opposite shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with other elbow.



Hamstring

Sit down and straighten your left leg. The sole of your right foot should rest next to the inside of your straightened leg. Lean slightly forward and touch your foot with your fingers. Keep your left foot upright with the ankle and toes relaxed. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with right leg.



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