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Often before we start any physical activity, we neglect to stretch before that activity.  It’s no wonder we get tweaks, strains, muscle pulls and cramping.  So what can be done to help minimize the chances of these hindrances to our daily lives and schedules?  RedLine has put together a small sampling of stretching exercises that will help prepare the body for most physical activities.

  • 01WALKING TOE TOUCH:  With your feet lined up under the hips and legs straight, reach your hands straight up into the air and raise up onto your toes, hold for a 2 count.  Then place heals back on the ground and with legs still straight, reach your hands down toward the toes, hold for a two count. Then stand erect, take one step forward, bring feet back to hip distance apart and begin the stretch again.  10-20 reps would be sufficient.

  • 02BODY WEIGHT SQUATS: With your feet shoulder width apart, and toes slightly pointed out, reach your hands straight up over head while rising up onto your toes, hold for a 2 count.  Then place heals back on the ground and begin to lower your hips down toward the ground, all while keeping the heals in contact with the ground.  Lower your hands so they are reaching toward the ground.  Your chest and head should stay upright as your hips continue to lower to knee height level.  At the lowest point the hips should be at or below the knee level and the hands touching the ground with the head and chest upright.  Hold for a two count then stand up.  10-20 reps would be sufficient.

  • 03HORIZONTAL TRUNK ROTATIONS: Spread your feet to wider then shoulder width.  Put a 90 degree bend in the elbows and lift your arms to shoulder height so that your arms are parallel to the ground.  Twist to one side, hold the twisted position at the furthest point without discomfort for a 6 count, then twist to the other side and repeat the hold.  After completing 3 of these to each side, then repeat at a continuous methodical rhythmic rate for 10-20 reps per side.

  • 04VERTICAL SIDE BENDS: Spread your feet to shoulder width apart, place arms directly at your side, and slightly “puff” chest out.  Lean/tip to one side and slide that hand down the leg as far a possible.  Without discomfort hold for a 6 count.  Lean/tip to the other side and repeat the stretch.  After completing 3 of these to each side, then repeat at a continuous methodical rhythmic rate for 10-20 reps per side.

  • 05SPIDERMAN STRETCH: Assume the push-up position.  Bring your right foot up and place it flat on the ground right next to and on the outside of the right hand.  Hold that position for a two count.  Then lift the right hand up, twist the trunk, and point the hand directly up toward the sky.  Hold that pose for a two count.  Then bring hand back down and place it back in the original position.  Then replace the right foot back to its original position, which should have you back into the beginning push-up position.  Repeat everything above with the left leg and arm.  Each side should be completed for 5-10 reps.