Festive Stretch

Sadly, I was too busy finishing off the mince pies and Xmas pudding to realise I missed posting this last year.  But it’s 12th day of Christmas today. So bah humbug and here it is. Reprinted courtesy of Carolyn.

This exercise combines your press ups with a version of an advanced side plank, and requires excellent body control.

A strong trunk (or core) gives you a strong posture, helping to make your body biomechanically efficient and less at risk of injury. Stretching helps to realign your skeleton, keeping your soft tissues at the right length and tension. By soft tissues I mean muscle, tendons, ligaments, nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels – it’s all in there!  Think of yourself as a machine or engine – if all the moving parts are well oiled and in the right alignment, there will be less wear and tear and greater output!

Good body control helps you to avoid injury. However, stretching and strength work can be enhanced with regular soft tissue massages, this is like the oiling bit!

Core exercise – advanced press up

This exercise combines your press ups with a version of an advanced side plank, and requires excellent body control.

Start in your press up position. I refer you back to August – keep a straight body between your head, back, hips and feet – no saggy backs or bottoms in the air please!! 😊.

 

Perform a press up.

 

Then return to starting position.

 

Maintain a straight alignment of your body throughout the move. Gently pull in your abdominals (30%), without moving your spine.

 

 

Then turn to one side, so that you are balancing on your feet and one hand, make a straight line from your shoulder to your hip and feet. Keep your hips facing forwards.

 

 

 

Repeat 10 – 30 press ups, ensure equal movement to left and right sides.

NB: you must keep a good posture throughout. Do less leg reps if you start losing your position and build up slowly. (Note: Santa hat is optional!)

Stretch – Adductors (inner thigh)

The anatomy lesson:

The adductors are made up of a number of different muscles to form a long broad area on the inside of your thigh. These muscles pull your legs together but also stabilise and extend your hip.

 

You can stretch your inner thigh a number of ways but here I demonstrate two:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Now let your knees push outwards and down to the floor. Do not arch your back.

 

Sit tall on your bottom bones with your legs out in front and apart. Now lean your chest forwards and down. Do not curl your back or you will turn this into a back stretch and not inner thigh.

 

 

As always, hold still for 30 seconds. Breathe deeply.

 Problem areas – Hold a stretch for up to 90 seconds if you have a particularly tight area. Ease into a stretch gradually, it should never be painful.

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