Basic Stretch Programme
Before you start doing anything please observe this cardinal rule: You should only stretch warmed up muscles - so before you do any of these stretches please do a light warm-up first. Don’t stretch too far, all you should feel is a slow pull, never any pain. Never bounce, always stretch slowly. People with old injuries or bad backs should be especially careful whilst exercising and stretching.
1 – Calves:
Stand approximately 1 metre away from wall with your left leg straight and your left heel flat on the floor. Lean forward and slowly push your hips towards the wall. Should feel a slow pull in your left calf muscle. Hold this for 10 seconds, swap legs, and then repeat 3 times. You should feel a gentle pull but no pain.
2 – Hamstrings:
Stand with feet 1 metre apart. With legs straight and hands behind your back slowly bend forward at the hips keeping your back straight and your head up. You should feel a slow pull in the muscles at the back of your legs. Hold for 10 seconds, stand up and lean slightly backwards to relieve any tightness in your back. Repeat this 3 times. You should feel a gentle pull but no pain.
3 – Quads:
Standing with your feet together, bring your left foot up and put your left hand on your lower left shin by the ankle - and pull your left leg up behind your bottom. Keep your back straight, you head up and keep your other leg slightly bent. You may need to balance with your right hand on a wall. You should feel a gentle pull down the front of your left leg. Hold for 10 seconds, swap legs, and repeat 3 times. As always you should feel a gentle pull but no pain.
4 – Groin:
Stand with your feet 1 metre apart and with both feet pointing forward. Keeping your back straight and your head up, step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your left hip towards the floor. You should feel a gradual pull on the inside of your left leg. Hold for 10 seconds, swap legs, and repeat 3 times. You should feel a gentle pull but no pain.
5 – Hips:
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and with your hands on your hips. Keeping your head still, rotate your hips clockwise 10 times and anti clockwise 10 times. Repeat three times.
6 – Torso:
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and with your hands on your head. Keep your feet pointing forward but twist your body to the left as far as is comfortable, hold for 1 second and face forward. Then twist your body to the right as far as is comfortable, hold for 1 second and face forward. Repeat 10 times.
7 – Shoulders:
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Start with your hands by your hips and keeping your arms straight slowly swing your arms round backwards 10 times. Then change direction and swing your arms forwards 10 times. Repeat 3 times.
8 – Standing stretch:
Stand with your feet together. Place your hands together and reach as high as you can, hold for 10 seconds and then relax. Repeat 3 times.
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