Standing Floor Flexibility
Flexibility work should be completed slowly with control. Work to find a stretch but do not push too far causing pain. If a stretch is uncomfortable, this should resolve when you return to a rest position. Try to concentrate on breathing slowly and deeply whilst stretching and hold stretches for 5-10 breaths or as directed.
Supine – Lying flat on your back, place both hands round your right knee and slowly bring it up towards your left shoulder across your body. Bring your knee up and across until you feel a stretch in the back of your hip. Breathe 5x and repeat on the opposite side.
Using plinth/ chair – Place your leg as shown in the photo. It is important to find a surface that is the correct height and may take several tries at different heights to feel an initial stretch. Make sure you’re standing tall. Try to get the outside of your shin to lay flat on the surface. If this feels like too much of a stretch, breathe and allow gravity to let your knee drop to the surface.
Set up on your hands and knees with your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders and turn your toes under so you are on the balls of your feet. Lift your knees until you feel resistance (your knees may still be bent, and heels may be off the floor at this point).
Next push your hips up into the air and use your thigh muscles to try and drive your heels down. As your hips go up, draw in your tummy muscles to sent your tailbone up. Keep your head between your arms, back straight and use your shoulder blades to stabilise your upper body.
Floor – Start by kneeling on the floor with your feet together and knees apart. Sit on your heels. Place your arms outstretched in front of you on the floor, with your torso in-between your knees. Make your arms as long as they can go as if stretching them out of your body. Keeping your arms in this lengthened position try to drop your tailbone towards your heels. The aim is to create distance between your fingers and hips.
Chair – Using a high-backed chair. Place your hands on the back of the chair, its important not to pull on the chair. The aim is to gain length between your hands and hips (elongate the spine). Keeping your back straight, hinge at the hips. Let your head relax in between your arms you take your weight into your heels.
Start by sitting on the floor, you may want some support behind you initially. Stretch your legs out in front of you. Keep your knees straight if you can. Slowly sit up tall, rolling your pelvis forwards and lifting your chest. As you lift you will feel the stretch down the back of your legs increase.
Standing Gastrocnemius Stretch
You can use a wall or a high chair back for balance support. Keep both feet facing forwards. Step back with one of your legs. Keeping the back leg straight and the heel on the ground, lean forwards over the front leg. You will feel a stretch in your calf.
Standing Soleus Stretch
You can use a wall or a high-chair back for balance support. Keep both feet facing forwards. Step back with one of your legs. Keep the back heel on the ground but this time bend the knee slightly. As you lean forwards you will feel a stretch in your lower calf.
Standing/Seated Side Stretch
Stand or sit tall with your back away from the chair back. Its important to keep your chest lifted throughout this stretch. As you bend to the right take your left arm up and over your body. Try not to rotate when doing this. When you feel a stretch in your side, ensure you continue to breathe throughout the stretch.
Quads Stretch in Kneeling
Start with one knee on the ground. You may need a chair in front of you for balance. Reach back and pick up the foot that is on the ground so that the knee bends. Keep your pelvis level by squeezing your glute/bottom muscles (you will feel as if you are pushing your hips forwards). You will feel a stretch in the front of your thighs.
Lat Stretch in Supine
Lying flat on the floor knees bent up with feet on the ground. Flatten your lower back down into the floor and draw your ribs down using your abdominal muscles. Bring your elbows off the ground to look at your palms. As you move your hands above your head keep your elbows in line and keep your abs switched on, make sure you are keeping your ribs down.
Stand with feet wide, point your right foot away from your body with toes pointing out. Keep the left foot pointing forwards. Twisting the body round take your hands to your right knee/ankle/foot as able. Breathe 5x and repeat on the opposite side.
Happy Cat/Angry Cat:
Kneeling – Start on your hands and knees. Your knees should be under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Draw your abdominal muscles in to arch your back upwards towards the ceiling. Breath and then slowly hollow your back in the opposite direction. Repeat this 10x in each direction.
Standing – If you cannot get down to the ground, place your hands on your knees with your elbows straight, hinge at the hips. Again, use your abdominal muscles to curl your back up. Breathe and then slowly hollow your back in the opposite direction. Repeat in 10x in each direction.
Standing Roll Down
This can be done using a wall for support behind you. Move slowly with control. Place your hands on your lap. Move from the head down, segment by segment. Firstly, tuck your chin in and slowly flex your neck, as you continue to flex through your body begin to use your abdominals to flex your lower body. Let your hands slide down your shin as you bend. Once at full bend, breathe 2x before standing back up straight. You should begin by moving from the pelvis, imagine your tailbone is being pulled towards the floor. As your body extends, move segment by segment until finally you are able to lift your head.
Start by lying on your front, tummy to the ground and palms flat on the floor in a “press up” position. Straighten your arms to push your upper torso upwards, keep your pelvis against the floor by activating your glute muscles. At the top breathe out and hold for 3 seconds. Slowly return to the start and repeat 10x.
Puppy Lying Extension
Start by lying on your front, tummy to the ground and arms by your side. Bring your forearms underneath you as you raise your chest off the floor. Breathe out and let your belly button drop. Hold for 3 seconds and return to the start position. Repeat 10x.
Adductor (Groin) Stretch
Lying on your back, place your feet together so that the soles of your feet touch. Slowly take your knees away from each other until you feel a stretch across your adductors (groin)
Lying on your back with feet flat on the floor and knees bent up. Slowly and with control let your knees drop to one side until you feel a stretch in your side/lower back. Breathe 5x and then slowly bring your knees over to the other side. Repeat on both sides 5x.
Lumbar Spine Flexion
Lying on your back bring your knees up to your chest and place your arms round them as if hugging them. Keeping your head on the floor/pillow pull your knees up towards your chest further to get a stretch in your lower back.
Sitting on a firm chair away from the back rest. Take your weight into your right hip, lifting your left hip off the chair if you need to. Reach long with your right arm as if trying to place an object on a high shelf. Keep your balance and bring your body back to the middle before repeating in the opposite direction.