Fitness Tip of the Week #19; Stretch Before You Sleep

Here are 5 great moves you can do before going to bed.

We have already covered some good stretches you should do right after you wake up in the morning to help activate your muscular system. What about before going to bed? Throughout the day we all develop tightness and stress in different areas of our body. These areas often include our neck, upper and lower backs, hip flexors and hamstrings. Most of these can be attributed to the lack of stimulus to our muscular system throughout the day to take our joints through their full range of motion, as well as the seated position our bodies cast to over a period of time.

Before going to bed, you should take advantage of these 5 great moves that will help to combat the tightness that builds up so you sleep better, and ultimately don’t allow those tightnesses to consistently progress into worse and worse posture that could eventually result in chronic pain symptoms.

These moves focus on lengthening out the different muscles that most often become tight from sitting on a consistent basis.

IMG_1718Downward Dog – Lengthens the hamstrings and lower back. From your hands and knees, point your toes into the ground then lift your hips by straightening out your legs. Keep you quads flexed and try to pull your chest towards your knees. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds.

Lower Spinal Floor Twist – A very standard move that loosens up the lower portion of the back. Lay onIMG_1680 your back with your legs straight on the floor. Now raise one leg up with your knee bent at 90 degrees, and with the opposite hand, pull it down across your body. Your lower back should be twisting as you pull your knee down, keeping both shoulders on the floor. Hold between 30 and 60 seconds each side.

IMG_1662Cats and Dogs – A move that goes well after a spinal rotation move like the lower spinal floor twist as it reintroduces flexion and extension into the spine. From your hands and knees, tuck your chin to your chest as you arch your back up towards the ceiling, then look up towards the ceiling as you let your back drop towards the floor. Repeat this motion 10 to 20 times

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch – Lengthens out tight hip flexors from sitting. From a kneeling position,IMG_1709 place one foot out in front of your body and press your weight into that hip. Be sure to contract the glute of the leg in back, and do not let your front knee go farther than your front foot. Keep your shoulders up tall throughout the stretch. Hold 30 to 60 seconds each side.

IMG_1821Spreadfoot Forward Bend – Lengthens out hamstrings and groin. Stand with your feet spread out as comfortably a possible, then bend forward from the waist, keeping your back flat and quads contracted. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

Loren Sheets

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