Do you even stretch?
If there is one thing that proves to be true time and time again as I approach my 20th year of being a massage therapist, it’s that people don’t stretch! (But it’s okay because after 20 years of doing massage, my body hates me and I never spend enough time working on my own stuff).
I can’t tell you how many times a client is on my table with the same complaints week after week, month after month, and year after year, and I ask them, “did you do those stretches I showed you?” and well, some of them are completely honest and say no. They can even tell me exactly where in their house the therapy balls they purchased, and they are collecting dust on a shelf most of the time.
Look, I get it; stretching is a pain sometimes, even when you’re trying to do it to get out of pain!
- Lie on your stomach with your hands in a push-up position.
- Relax your back and hips, and slowly press your upper body up off the floor, allowing your back to arch while keeping your hips touching the ground.
- Hold for at least 10-15 seconds and release.
- Repeat 5 times
Seated back twist:
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched straight out in front of you.
- Bend your right knee and step your right foot over your left leg.
- Put your right hand on the floor, fingers pointing outward for support.
- Bend your left elbow and turn to the right, placing the back of your arm against your right knee.
- Inhale as you sit tall, then breathe out as you twist, pressing your arm into your leg and looking over your right shoulder.
- Hold for five breaths, then slowly return to the center.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Step back with your left leg and place both hands on the ground on either side of your right foot, keeping them shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your hips until you feel a stretch in the front of your left hip and leg.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
Standing side stretch:
- With your feet and arms straight over your head, clasp your hands together with your fingers interlaced.
- Inhale as you reach upward.
- Exhale as you bend your upper body to the right until you feel a good stretch along the left side of your torso and the back and side of your arm.
- Take five slow breaths and slowly return to the center.
- Repeat to the left side.
The forward hang:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and your knees slightly bent.
- Put your hands behind your back and interlace your fingers.
- Breathe in and straighten your arms behind you to expand your chest.
- While exhaling, bend at your waist, allowing your hands to stretch toward the ceiling.
- Hold for 5 deep breaths.
While you can work your way up to complex stretching routines and intensify things for certain benefits, you’ve got to start somewhere. There’s no sense in trying to run before you walk. Some simple stretches like this will keep you moving and feeling great. Whether you start or end your day with this routine, keep it simple and enjoy the process. This is 5 minutes that’s just for you.
Or Let Us Stretch You!
Luckily, if you are one of those who say, “I’ll just pay someone else to do it,” we’ve got you covered. Book yourself a Fascial Stretch session to see why I like to use the term ‘stretch drunk’ to describe a session, or try our new mat-based stretch session with Brenda, or come and take one of our Yoga Tune Up® classes to see just how easy it can be to stretch yourself.
In Good Hands,
Rebecca Tamm, LMT