Men's Articles

What A Stretch


Is multi-tasking at home and work over-stretching you? Perk up with more stretching (exercises, actually) that relax tense muscles and keep your heart upbeat at the same time. There's nothing like a good stretch. It limbers up preworkout muscles and joints, and eases muscle soreness afterwards.

And if stress plays a big part in your daily routine, stretching is a fantastic way to ease the tension out of your body, particularly the neck, shoulders and back. We're not talking about contortionist-like poses something as simple as reaching up for the ceiling can be very liberating.

Warm-up Exercise

Lymph Clap

This stimulates the lymph nodes and boosts your body's detoxifying capability.

  • Rub palms together to warm them. Tap warmed fingers under your eyes, on the scalp, and down your cheeks and neck.
  • Bring your right arm across your chest and clap your left armpit. Repeat on the other side.
  • Repeat clap your armpits twice a side, alternating between the left and right.

String Puppet

This dynamic stretch works the side obliques and gives a mild cardio workout as well.

  • Place left hand on your hip. Inhale and stretch out right arm at shoulder level.
  • Exhale and turn hip towards the left, pivoting on your right foot. Draw extended right arm to the left at the same time .Inhale and return to the starting pose, Repeat.
  • Resume the starting pose, exhale and reach over your head to the left. Bend knees slightly.
  • Inhale and return to the starting pose. Repeat on the same side. Do the same with the opposite side of your body.
  • Repeat twice a side 

Eagle Pose

Strengthens the stabilizing muscles in the glutes and legs as well as stretches the upper body.

  • Balance on left foot, with your right foot positioned at left knee. Extend arms upwards, Inhale.
  • Exhale and lean forward. At the same time, swing arms to your sides, and lift right leg so that it is in line with your arms and parallel to the floor.
  • Inhale and bring arms to shoulder level.
  • Exhale and clap hands together. Repeat twice. Do the same with the other leg.
  • Repeat twice a side

Floor Exercises

Gluteus Stretch

This stretch targets the glutes. For a more intense stretch, keep your back leg fully extended throughout the exercise.

  • Sit with left leg bent at the knee in front of you, making sure your toes are in line with the shin. Keep right leg slightly bent behind you. Maintain a straight torso, and place hands on the floor by the sides.
  • Exhale and bring chest down towards left leg, palms facing down.. Hold for a few breaths.
  • Inhale and turn upper body to the right, keeping arms straight and palms down on the floor
  • Exhale and return to the frontal pose.
  • Repeat with right leg in front of you.
  • Repeat once a side

Pike Stretch

Tight hamstrings will find relief from this stretch. Tip: the wider your legs are, the easier it is to bend forward.

  • Sit with legs out and apart, palms together in front of you.
  • Bend forward and bring palms to the outside of the right foot. Counter your hands' pressure by pushing with right foot.
  • Part hands and bring right arm up, twisting torso to the right as you do so. Return right hand to left hand. Repeat on left side.
  • Repeat once a side

Abdominal V-UP

This is a new spin on the classic ab-toning sit-up.

  • Lie on the floor with hands behind the head, and knees bent.
  • Tense abs and lift upper body off the floor.
  • Bring arms to the front and raise right leg to form a V 17C]. Repeat with the left leg.
  • Repeat once a side

Flying Back

It works not just the lower back when you lift your body off the floor, it also tones your upper back when you squeeze your shoulder blades.

  • Lie prone on the floor with arms and legs outstretched.
  • Inhale and lift arms and upper body off the floor.
  • Exhale and bring arms to the sides. Squeeze shoulder blades together as you do so.
  • Inhale and stretch out arms to the front. Exhale and return chest to the floor.
  • Repeat 6-8 times

Glute Strengthening

It stretches the glutes and lower back.

  • Lie face-down and rest forehead on hands. Extend legs and keep them together 
  • Exhale and lift thighs off the floor. Part legs and hold for two breaths.
  • Inhale and close legs. Slowly lower legs back to the floor. Repeat 6-8 times.

Cooling Down Exercise

Wind down your mind and body with this meditative stretch.

  • Sit cross-legged and lengthen the back.
  • Place right hand over the head and slowly pull

Know Your Stretches

Static Stretching

It involves stretching your muscles without moving the limbs.

Dynamic Stretches

They are opposite of static ones; they are controlled, swinging movements such as leg swings, arm swings or torso twists.

Active Stretching

It is where you assume a position and, using your own strength in the opposite direction, stretch your muscles. An example: lifting your leg up and maintaining it without any external props.

Passive Stretching

It generally involves the use of an object for support, although holding your leg while you lean in for a quadricep stretch is also considered passive stretching.

 

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