Flexibility & Mobility Exercises
Stretching is not warm-up. You must warm-up to stretch. Flexibility is part of each day’s workout. It is a very important component of performance, which must be trained properly. After workout is the best time to make flexibility gains. That is when you are warm. Spend at least 15 minutes daily going through your flexibility routine as part of your cooldown. Stretching at the end of workout will restore the muscles to their resting length and help alleviate soreness.
In warm-up it is counterproductive to hold the stretch. The stretch should be active. The tempo of the stretch should be: Stretch, hold the stretch for one count, then relax – Repeat this two to three times at each position.
The cooldown is the time to hold the stretch. We recommend that you hold the hold end position for up to twenty seconds. Repeat each stretch two times.
Three Position Hamstring Stretch
This exercise stretches the hamstrings using three foot positions: 1) toe straight ahead (up); 2) toe turned in; and 3) toe turned out.
- Start from a half-kneeling position with one leg forward and the other back.
- With your lead foot pointed straight ahead (toe up), and place both hands on the ground with one hand on either side of the lead foot. This is your starting position.
- Keeping your hands on the ground and both feet stationary, extend the front leg as far as possible, hold fro 10-20 seconds, return to start and repeat.
- Perform the prescribed number of reps on one leg and repeat with the opposite leg forward.
- To completely stretch the hamstring, repeat the previous drill with the lead foot turned inward and again with lead foot turned outward.
Standing Hip Flexor Stretch (psoas stretch)
- Stand in split-stance position with one leg forward and the other leg back. Place the hand on your lead leg side on your hip and extend the opposite arm straight up over your head. This is your starting position.
- Keeping both feet still, set your abs, contract your glutes and extend your arm straight up as you shift your hips forward to stretch the hip (psoas) of the rear leg. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds, return to start, repeat for the prescribed number of reps, switch legs and repeat.
- Keep your trunk upright throughout the stretch. Do not let your back arch to increase the range of motion as this puts pressure on your low back and reduces the stretch on the psoas.
Adductor Stretch (Groin)
- Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, both feet forward and hands on hips. This is your starting position.
- Keeping your trunk upright, set your abs and shift your weight to one side of the body to stretch the groin of the opposite leg. Hold for 10-20 seconds, return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. This is one rep.
- Perform the prescribed number of reps keeping your abs tight, feet pointed straight ahead and your trunk erect.
Standing Quad Stretch
- Stand on one foot with the opposite arm extended out to the side and the hand on the wall for balance.
- Set the abs, flex the non-support leg until the heel approaches the buttocks, reach behind your body and grab the foot with the same side hand.
- Keeping your abs tight and trunk erect, pull the heel to the buttocks to stretch the quad, hold for 10-20 seconds, relax and repeat for the prescribed number of reps.
- Repeat on the opposite side and do not arch your back.
Crucifex Spine (Supine)
- Lie on your back with legs straight down and arms straight out to the sides. Your body should form a big letter “T”. This is your starting position.
- Keeping your arms straight and body flat on the ground, set your abs, lift one leg straight up in the air, roll your hips to one side and then drop it to the side to touch the opposite hand. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds, return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
- Keep you abs tight, legs straight and arms in contact with the ground throughout the movement.
Crucifex Spine (Prone)
- The movement in this exercise is similar to that of the previous exercise, except that your starting position is lying flat on your stomach with arms and legs extended to form a big letter “T”.
- From the starting position, bend one knee to about 90 degrees, roll your hips to one side and attempt to touch your opposite hand with your foot.
- Perform the prescribed number of reps and repeat on the opposite side.