It works like this: if you’re climbing a set of stairs, stretch a bit on the way up and then again at the top of the flight; if you’re walking through a doorway, stretch a bit as you pass through.
Small amounts of time sliced stretching throughout your day can both improve your flexibility and give you a minor energy boost! On stairs, there are a number of things you can do to stretch. First, after taking a few single steps up, start taking 2 or 3 steps at a time. This motion roughly equates to a lunging exercise, so be sure to step slowly (your muscles will probably be cold) into your 1st double and triple steps. This primarily stretches the gluts, but also hits the hamstrings a bit as well. Near the middle of the flight take especially slow steps and really try to go low with with a few deep steps … you’ll feel the stretch in your gluts.
Once near the top of the flight, and now that the legs are warmed up a bit, it’s time for some calf and hamstring stretches. Grab the hand rail and balance on your toes over the edge of a step. Switch your weight from leg to leg, alternatively stretching your calves by allowing your heels to drop below the step height.
Then, come back down the stairs a couple of steps and extend a straightened leg up a couple of steps to stretch your hamstrings. Sloooowly bring your nose towards your knee until you feel the slight discomfort of the stretch and hold for 10 seconds. Stretching might feel somewhat uncomfortable, but never painful. If it hurts, you’re stretching too far! This entire stair climbing stretch can be done in as little as 60 additional seconds and just plain feels good!
If (and only if!) your shoulders are stable and without range of motion limitations, you can quite easily stretch your chest with something I call door jam stretches. As you navigate your home or office throughout the day,you can easily stretch your chest and back in just a few minutes by using the door jam as a stationary object. To stretch your chest and shoulders, stand about 6 inches in front of an open door jam. Place your hands on the sides of door jam at shoulder height. With feet firmly planted, allow your body weight to “fall” through the doorway to where your chest is stretched and resists falling further forward . Hold the stretch 8 to 10 seconds and repeat up to 5 times. As with staircase stretches, start slowly and gently … you’ll be stretching COLD muscles, which is less than optimal.
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