The following exercises will increase mobility, reduce stiffness and decrease pain. When I do them regularly, I notice a huge difference. My problem stems not just from extended sitting and the resultant stiffening of muscles, joints and ligaments. I have tight hip flexors and glutes from walking which pull my lower back out.
Do not do them if you are feeling acute pain.
Do each exercise twice and hold for 30 seconds. Of course, all but the inner thigh stretch have to be done on both sides! You may have to build up to 30 seconds, and let me say, it is longer than you estimate. Most people count to 30 quite quickly when they are holding a stretch. Do not bounce, but perform each smoothly. Oh, and don’t forget to breath.
1. Hip Flexor Stretch – this one kills me! I feel it doen the front of my hip and thigh. Lunge forward with left foot, bending left knee 90 degrees and lowering right knee to floor. Tilt pelvis forward until you feel mild tension in the front of the right hip. Repeat on other side. I put a towel under my knee to stop the pressure.
2. Seated Hamstring Stretch – I have always had very tight hamstrings. This one works for me and is not as uncomfortable as other hamstring stretches. Tuck one foot near the groin with the opposite leg straight out. Reach down shin until a stretch is felt. Repeat on other side.
3. Inner Thigh/Groin Stretch – place heels together and pull feet toward the groin until a stretch is felt. If more flexible, place slight pressure on the knees, pressing towards the floor.
4. Glute Stretch – lie on back with knees bent. Place one foot on opposite knee, reach hands through and gently pull opposite knee towards chest until you feel a stretch in the butt area. Repeat on other side.
5. Tensor Stretch – Stand with your left toe touching your right heel and your feet at right angles to each other. Place your hands on your hips – use your hands on your hips to remind you that the side bend is applied to the hip joint, & not to the lower back. Lean to your right, with the movement happening in the hip joint. Feel the stretch in the muscle at the side of the hip bone, (it should be under your left hand). Repeat on other side.
6. Quad stretch – standing, pulling one heel to the buttock and push hip forward. Repeat on other side.
Today’s decluttered item = Can you guess what this is? It has been cluttering up my bathroom cabinet for years.