Kristine Lilly is a legendary U.S. Soccer World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist and Steward’s Community Wellness Ambassador.
No matter what your fitness level, stretching is a valuable activity and benefits your body in numerous ways. Stretching can reduce your risk for injury and help you become more limber, regardless of your age and physical condition.
Try incorporating some of these 6 simple stretching exercises into your daily workout routine to improve your wellness.
Arms and Shoulders
Lift one arm in front of you as if to grab something. Then use the other arm to pull the outstretched arm gently across the chest so that the muscles are stretched. Hold for 15 seconds and relax. Repeat for another 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat, using your left arm.
Neck and Shoulders
Sit tall in a chair. Let your right arm down and grasp the seat. Then try to tip the head toward the left side. Holding onto the seat keeps your shoulders level during the stretch. Hold for 15 seconds and relax. Repeat for another 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat, using your left arm.
Bring your arm behind your back and link your fingers with your palms facing inward. Straighten your arms and lift them up until you feel a stretch in your arms, shoulders, and chest. Hold for 15 seconds and relax. Repeat the stretch for another 15 to 30 seconds.
Lunge one foot in front of you. Make sure your knee doesn’t go past the front of your toes. Drop your other knee almost to the ground and push your hip forward and hold for 30 seconds. Then switch and do the same for the other leg.
Bend your knee and grab your foot while balancing on one foot. Kick your foot into your hand to get even more of a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Do the other leg as well. To help yourself balance pick something to stare at on the floor.
Spread your legs a little over shoulder width apart. Bend down between your legs and try to rest your hands on the ground. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Then bend over the left side and try to rest your hands on your left foot for 30 seconds. Then repeat with the right foot for 30 seconds.
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