To Your Health
September, 2009 (Vol. 03, Issue 09)
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Active Stretches

Active Calf Stretch

Preparation: Stand near a wall  or sturdy object. Bring one leg forward for support; use upper body and lean against wall. The outstretched leg should form a straight line and the feet and ankle should be in a neutral position.

Movement: Draw belly button inward and keep rear foot on the ground, with opposite hip flexed. Slowly move the hips forward, creating controlled movement through the lower extremity. Hold for 2-4 seconds and repeat for 5-10 repetitions. Switch sides and repeat.

Lady stretching - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Active Standing Hip Stretch

Preparation: Stand with one leg bent and slightly forward. Turn the back leg slightly inward.

Movement: Draw belly button inward and squeeze the glutes while tucking the hips. Stride forward slowly until a mild tension is achieved in the front of the hip being stretched. Raise and stretch the stride-side arm up and over the opposite side while maintaining pelvic position. Rotate to the back leg in a controlled manner, hold for 2-4 seconds for 5-10 repetitions, then switch sides and repeat.

Tube Walking Side to Side

Preparation: Stand with feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent and feet straight ahead. Place resistance band under feet.

Movement: Draw belly button inward. Keep feet straight ahead and take 10 small side steps without allowing knees to cave inward. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Lady stretching on exercise ball - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Functional Stretches

Multi-Planar Lunge

Preparation: Stand in proper alignment with hands on hips and feet straight ahead.

Movement: Draw belly button inward. While maintaining total body alignment, step forward (saggital plane), descending slowly by bending at the hips, knees and ankles. Use the hips and thigh muscles to push up and back to the start position. Perform 10 repetitions, then repeat on opposite leg. Progress to side lunges (coronal/frontal plane), followed by turning lunges (transverse plane).