3 Simple Stretches to Keep You in the Holiday Spirit

Hamstring Stretch

Back of Leg Stretch

If you do not have a Theraband or exercise band, use a towel. Any material that has a little “give” and stretch to it will do.

  1. Lie on back with knees bent and feet on mat.
  2. Bend one knee into chest and place Theraband around ball and toes of foot.
  3. Exhale and stretch the leg up gently. Stretch out other leg on mat (if you feel strain or discomfort in your lower back, keep your knee bent with foot on mat). Place a small pillow under head if needed.
  4. Breathe deeply as you stretch the hamstring, trying to keep your hip down on the mat.
  5. Point and flex your toes 3 times. Circle your foot and ankle twice in each direction.
  6. Gently cross your leg over toward your opposite shoulder without lifting the hip. Breathe. Point and flex the foot.
  7. Bring the leg back into center and switch sides.
     

Open Book

Middle back stretch for mobility

  1. Lie on your side with your arms stretched out in front of you. Palms touching. Use small pillow under head if needed.
  2. Cross your top leg over and bend knee at 90 degree to rest on mat.
  3. Take a breath and as you exhale open your arm and gently twist middle back. Turn your head and neck as you do this, following your fingertips with your eyes. Press knee gently into mat.
  4. Inhale and fold yourself back in.
  5. Only go as far as you feel a gentle stretch. Don’t push it.
  6. Repeat 5 times. Switch sides.
     

Cat-Cow

Spine flexibility, middle back and neck stretch, chest opener
  1. Come onto all fours with your hands underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips.
  2. Exhale and round your spine up towards the sky. Imagine you are pushing the floor away from you. Let your head and neck relax and curl your tailbone under as much as you can.
  3. Inhale and arch your back gently, sending your chest through your arms and your seat back. Lift your neck and head gently, look out and draw your shoulders down your back. Keep pushing the floor away from you.
  4. Practice pulling your abdominals towards your spine and then up your spine while rounding to help lengthen and create space between each vertebra. 

Thank you to my wonderful client and model David Schneiderman. What an amazing journey David has been on to change his body and eliminate his lower back pain. You are an Integro Pilates success story!