Stretches should be performed to mild discomfort, but not to where pain is felt.
Hold for 30-60 seconds if possible. Repeat.
Optimal stretching benefits are gained when each muscle group is stretched for 2-3 minutes.
Targeted muscles: Adductors
From a tailor-sitting position (similar to cross-legged), place the soles of feet together if possible, and place the hands on the inside of the knees. Push downward slowly. Pull the feet closer to the body for a deeper stretch.
Chest Stretch With Clasped Hands Behind the Back
Targeted muscles: Chest
While standing, bring your arms behind your back and clasp your hands together, hook the thumbs and forefingers together and pull the elbows back while lifting the chest up. Extend the arms back to further open the chest.
Cross Body Arm Swings
Targeted muscles: Chest, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Upper Back
With arms in a straight, outstretched position, swing arms horizontally. Start with them held out at the sides, then swing them forward around the body, then swing them backward around the body.
Downward Dog Pose
Targeted muscles: Upper, Mid, and Lower Back
Begin on your hands and knees, stretch your elbows and relax your upper back. Spread your fingers wide and press firmly through your palms and knuckles. Exhale as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor. Press the floor away from you as you lift through your pelvis.
Deep Forward Lunge
Targeted muscles: Quadriceps, Hip Flexor
Start in a standing position with feet together. Lift one leg and step forward, lowering the body toward the ground until the front thigh is parallel to the ground. Keep the back straight. Push off with the front leg and resume back to the starting position. Repeat with both legs.
Targeted muscles: Dorsiflexor
Begin standing with the ankle of the nonsupporting leg fully extended, stretch the dorsiflexors by slowly flexing the knee of the supporting leg.
Knee to Chest Stretch
Targeted muscles: Lumbar (Lower Back)
Lie on the back. While keeping the back flat, bring both knees (or one) into the chest until a comfortable stretch is felt in the lower back.
Lower Trunk Rotation
Targeted muscles: Lumbar (Lower Back) and Hips
Lie on the back and bend the knees. While keeping the back flat and feet together, rotate the knees to one side or the other.
Lying Hamstring Stretch
Targeted Muscles: Hamstrings, Glutes
Lie on the back and lift a single knee up. Grasp behind and just below the knee with both hands and pull toward the body while keeping the leg straight. If this is too difficult to stretch while keeping the leg straight, place one hand behind the knee and the other hand on the front of the shin to keep the leg straight. The resting leg can be bent at the knee and/or hip if the hip flexors are tight.
Neck Lateral Bends
Targeted muscles: Neck
Sit or stand tall with your chest up. Rotate your head to one side, then side flex your neck to the opposite side. Extend your head back while maintaining side flexion and rotation.
Passive Hip Abduction Stretch
Passive Stretch with Partner
Targeted muscles: Adductors
Lying down or stand on one leg while supporting yourself against a wall, abduct the hip while keeping the leg straight (side leg raise). Have a partner grasp the ankle and passively stretch the muscle further for you.
Plantar Flexor Stretch
Targeted muscles: Plantar Flexor
Standing with balls of the feet on a stair or elevated surface, lower the heels to the floor. It will feel similar to a calf stretch.
Begin in a front-leaning position against a wall or chair with one foot in front of the other. Flex the hip, knee and ankle to lower your body closer to the ground, keeping the feet flat on the floor.
Targeted Muscles: Adductors
Stand with your feet and knees together. Take a large step with your right foot to the right side and lunge towards the floor by bending your right knee and keeping the left leg completely straight. Make sure your right knee doesn’t extend past your toes. Push off through your right foot to return to the start to complete one side lunge. Repeat on both sides.
Targeted muscles: Back and Abdominals
Begin lying flat on your stomach. Bring the elbows directly under the shoulders and place the forearms on the ground, parallel to each other (Or just place the hands directly below the shoulders.) Press the hands and forearms firmly down while sliding the shoulders away from the ears and lift up into a backbend/back extension. Keep the leg muscles engaged and pressing into the ground.
Standing Calf Stretch
Targeted muscles: Calves
Stand facing a wall, about two feet away with feet hip-width apart. Step back with your right leg, bending left knee, keeping right leg straight, both heels on the floor, and both feet facing forward. While keeping the left heel on the floor, place the toes of the left foot against the wall and lean forward toward the wall. Keep the heel closer to the wall for a deeper stretch.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Targeted muscles: Hamstrings and Glutes
Holding onto a supportive railing or wall, place your right leg on a slightly raised surface. Keep your hips facing forward and the standing knee straight. Slowly bend forward at the hips, keeping the back fully erect, and chest up.
Standing Quadricep Stretch
Targeted muscles: Quads and Hip Flexors
Standing erect, and holding a wall or object for balance if needed, grasp the top of the ankle or forefoot behind. Pull ankle or forefoot to rear end. Straighten hip by moving the knee backward and hold. Repeat on each side.
Trunk Lateral Bend
Targeted muscles: Abductors and Obliques
From standing position with arms overhead, clasp the hands together and laterally bend/flex the trunk side to side. Stretch to slight discomfort.
Trunk Lateral Bend with Overhead Tricep Stretch
Targeted muscles: Obliques, Serratus Anterior, and Triceps
Raise the right arm over head and grab your right elbow with the left hand. Pull your right elbow over to the left and bend your trunk to the left into a comfortable stretch. Repeat on both sides.
Vertical Arm Swings
Targeted muscles: Shoulders, Serratus Anterior, and Chest
With arms in a straight, outstretched position, swing the left arm up over the head, while swinging the right arm down past the hip. To alternate sides, swing the left arm down, and the right arm up simultaneously.