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Sounds Like a Bit of a Stretch…

… but stretching keeps the muscles from being tight that can lead to joint pain, muscle strain and damage. In fact, stretching regularly allows muscles to improve posture, maintain flexibility, strength, and the necessary range of motion to carry out tasks we rarely think about throughout the day. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight over time so when muscles are needed for certain activities, they are weak and unable to extend all the way potentially causing pain.

As many of us are sheltering in place due to the current pandemic, it’s easy to stay in one position for extended periods of time that can lead to joint aches and muscle stiffness or soreness. Take some time each day to give your muscles a nice little relief with stretching.

Here are a few easy stretches we recommend doing at home:

Neck Side Stretch

This easy stretch can help relieve tension in your neck. Try to stretch after strength training and during any activity that makes you feel stiff, such as sitting at a desk.

  • You can do this stretch while standing or sitting in a sturdy chair.

  • Keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.

  • Slowly turn your head to the right until you feel a slight stretch. Be careful not to tip or tilt your head forward or backward, but hold it in a comfortable position.

  • Hold the position for 10-30 seconds.

  • Turn your head to the left and hold the position for 10-30 seconds.

  • Repeat at least 3-5 times.

Sit and Reach

This exercise is for your back muscles. If you’ve had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before trying this stretch.

  • Sit securely toward the front of a sturdy, armless chair with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.

  • Slowly bend forward from your hips. Keep your back and neck straight.

  • Slightly relax your neck and lower your chin. Slowly bend farther forward and slide your hands down your legs toward your shins. Stop when you feel a stretch or slight discomfort.

  • Hold for 10-30 seconds.

  • Straighten up slowly all the way to the starting position.

  • Repeat at least 3-5 times.

Back Extension Stretch

This exercise helps to straighten out the back and relieving tight chest and core muscles.

  • Seated in a chair with good posture place a ball between your upper back and the back of the chair.

  • Slowly lean against the ball allowing it to straighten out your back and puff out your chest.

  • Rotate your torso side to side and bend up and down to give yourself a relaxing massage.

  • Hold for 10-30 seconds.

  • Straighten up slowly all the way to the starting position.

  • Repeat at least 3-5 times.

Chest and Upper Back Stretch

For the Back & Shoulders:

  • Sit with good posture and shoulders back and down away from the ears.

  • Extend your arms out in front of you at shoulder height. Interlace the fingers

  • or grasp one hand with the other, and press out as you round the upper back and

  • shoulders forward, feeling the upper back fan out. Hold for 10 seconds and

  • release.

For the Chest and Shoulders:

  • Pull extended arms back behind you and interlace the fingers or grasp one hand with the other, keeping your hands down toward the buttocks.

  • Feel the chest and shoulders open up as you pull your shoulders back. Hold for 10 seconds and release.

Repeat the upper back and chest stretches 3-5 times, holding each stretch for 10-30 seconds.

Overhead Reach with Side Bending

This exercise is good for lengthening the sides of our body that are commonly overlooked but important in trunk stability.

  • Seated in a chair with good posture, reach your arms up overhead. Hold for 10

  • seconds.

  • Allow your right arm to relax down by your side (can rest hand on chair

  • seat) while your left arm stays up overhead.

  • Slowly lean to the right and reach your left arm over your head to the right. Hold for 8 to 10 seconds.

  • Return to the center position, pulling both arms overhead again.

  • Repeat by bending to the opposite side, relaxing the left arm to the side this time and hold for 8-10 seconds.

We are a team of experienced clinical kinesiologists who specialize in preventive and rehabilitative exercise for seniors. We believe that aging is part of a beautiful journey and everyone deserves to live their best ​life. We understand that as our bodies get older, it doesn’t function the same. As some see this as a limitation, we see it as an opportunity. With the right mindset, knowledge, tools and support we help improve quality of life, slow the progression of certain conditions and help you take control of your health.

Call us today for a free consultation. San Diego 619.263.0329 or Orange County 949.245.6239.

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