Posted by Ellen Sichel on February 6, 2012
When I go and exercise, I often see some who rush out right after without stretching and releasing tensions that comes with exercising. This is not healthy for your muscles. Many do not understand that lengthening back out has tremendous value.
When you work out, play golf or any other activity, your muscles are contracting and tightening, which decreases the blood flow into the muscles.
Doing some simple stretches will lengthen your muscles, allowing more blood and oxygen to move through. They will be elongated and heather.
I cannot give you stretches in a short post, but when you stretch out be mindful of this:
- Treat stretching back out as part of your workout and budget the extra time it will take into your practice.
- Direct your breath into the area that is tight.
- Have something to support you while stretching so you do not have to effort.
- Do not overstretch where you feel pain- you cannot relax into pain and you will intensify the tension.
- Stay with the stretch for a few breaths and allow the muscles stretching to release.
Let me know in the comments below how this worked. Did you find yourself being able to relax into the stretch? Did you breathe while stretching?
Posted by Ellen Sichel on January 30, 2012
Most of us spend a lot of time sitting at home or the office and when we stand up, we are achy.
The seated position creates a forward bend at the hip crease which shortens that area of your body, creating tension in the low back.
There are also those who are ill and must sit most of the day and cannot walk on their own. A gentle unraveling of the spine will help, but often we do not have the time or ability.
Try this simple technique to help stretch out your hip crease. It can even be even be done with a walker.
- Stand up and hold onto something on either side, with your hands under your shoulders.
- Stand with your feet a bit narrower than hip width apart.
- Step your left foot forward and your right foot back the same amount (if this hurts your low back, take a smaller step).
- While holding onto either side, slowly bring your left knee over your left ankle, keeping your right heel pressed into the floor.
- Stand erect, keeping your ribs over your hips (rather than forward of your hips). Lightly pull your navel in.
- You will feel a stretch in your back hip crease and maybe into your calf.
- Take a few breaths and come back to center and notice the difference.
- Do the other side.
Let me know in the comments below how this worked. Did you feel more open in your hip crease? How did your back feel?