three routes to keep away from
At some point, a little training snobbish is okay, especially when the risk outweighs the reward. Stretching is generally a safe exercise, but not all stretching is good for every body. Unless you're a contortionist, professional athlete, or seasoned yogi, there is no need to put your parts in a potentially compromising position. Here are the top three sections to avoid and why – and a substitute movement that is safer and better for your body.
Hurdler & # 39; s Stretch
This route is good for hurdlers (obviously), but jumping a hurdle is really the only real life activity that benefits from this position. Their purpose is to stretch your hips and deeper hip rotators, but when most people try they usually stress the inner portion of their knees – which can lead to possible injury to the ligament and joint capsule – rather than stretching their hips .
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Sub In: 90/90 hip stretch
When you have both knees at a 90-degree angle, this stretch will properly target your hips and relieve pressure on your knees. Hold each position of this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds to hit all aspects of your hip rotators. Repeat two to four times on each side.
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Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat, then roll over to your side and let your knees fall to the floor. Your front thigh should be straight in front of you and your opposite thigh straight to the side – both knees should be bent 90 degrees. Stop here and press your pelvis down. Then, with your back straight, hinge forward at your hips, dropping your chest towards your front knee. Sit back up and rotate towards your back leg.
While it won't bother seasoned yogis, the Plow Pose requires extensive flexibility in your hamstrings, back, and neck – areas where many people experience tightness and even pain. In order to fold in half, most of your body weight must also be supported by the neck and shoulders, possibly pressing on the delicate discs and nerve bundles in your cervical spine.
Sub In: Fold forward
This stretch accomplishes the same rear chain elongation by taking the help of gravity – without bending into a pretzel or pinching your spine.
Stand with your feet together, knees straight but not overstretched. Start with your head and slowly roll down one vertebra at a time until your head is hanging upside down to the floor. Put your hands on the floor or cross your arms over your chest and hold them for 60 seconds or more. For a deeper stretch, wrap your arms around the back of your knees or bring your hands back between your feet.
Chest stretch with straight arm
In our tech-rich world, it's common to have tight pectoral muscles, but this particular stretch can shorten those muscles rather than lengthen them. When you lean forward into the stretch, the connective tissue that holds your shoulder in place is pulled, weakening the anterior capsule and compromising its integrity – without stretching a single fiber of the pectoral muscles.
Sub In: "High-Five" Pec Stretch
In this position, the chest muscles are properly stretched so that they can perform all the necessary actions: horizontal abduction, external rotation and retraction of the shoulder blade.
Bend your arm at a 90-degree angle like you're giving a high five, then place your elbow and forearm against a stationary object like a rig post or door jamb. Slowly rotate your entire body away from your arm until you feel a stretch in your chest – it doesn't take much. When your muscles relax, rotate a little more. Press and hold each side for 30 seconds.