Why Stretching Should Be Part of Everyone’s Daily Routine
Whether you are a couch potato or really active, you should stretch your body daily, for at least fifteen to thirty minutes each time. There are several reasons why you should stretch:
- To Regain or improve your flexibility
- To Reduce the risk of injury, particularly if you are an active person
- To Create an elongated physique
- To Relax or meditate
- To Feel stretching’s scientifically proven calming effect
- To Encourage muscle recovery after a workout or after an injury
- To Prepare your body before a physical effort
Stretching will improve blood flow to your muscles and allow them to flush out lactic acid faster. Stretching does not have to be complicated or painful.
One of the easiest way to stretch your whole body is to use resistance loop bands. A resistance loop band is an exercise band made of stretchy latex which create a loop.
It is used to create resistance. Different loop bands have different resistance levels. Depending on your fitness and flexibility levels, you can hold the stretches for a longer or shorter time. You can also choose a band with a higher resistance level if you are more advanced. Here is a list of ten stretches using a loop resistance band.
1. Calf Stretch
Lay on your back on a yoga mat or on the floor. Place of side the loop band around your forefoot. Still on your back, grab the other side of the loop and keeping your leg straight, pull towards your chest. You want to bring your leg towards you. Do this with both legs, holding for 30 seconds each time. You should feel the stretch in your calf and behind your thigh.
2. Hip Flexor Stretch
Lay on your back. Place the loop band around your foot. Keep your leg straight and using the loop band, pull your leg across your body towards the floor. Make sur your pull is gentle and slow. You will feel a stretch in your hip, in your glutes and on the side of your tight. You may also feel a stretch in your back. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Stretch each leg.
3. Quad Stretch
Standing up on one foot, raise one leg upwards and towards your opposite hip. Take the loop band and place it around your raised foot. Keep the same position and gently pull the resistance band upwards. You will feel the stretch in your quad, in your hip and your lower back. Do this stretch for each leg, holding 30 seconds at a time.
4. Glute Stretch
Stand up and place loop the band around one foot. Pulling on the band with the leg’s opposite hand slowly raise your leg until it stands parallel to the floor. Use your other hand to find balance. Try to raise your leg pass the parallel stance until you feel a good stretch in your glutes. You should also feel the stretch in your hip flexor and behind your tight. If you are having a hard time finding your balance, use a chair to steady yourself with your free hand. Do this for 30 seconds for each leg.
5. Upper Back Stretch
Sit on the floor, your legs extended in front of you. Place the loop band around both feet. Grad the band along each side, as close as possible to your feet. Gently curl your back. The band will help you hold the stretch. People who are very flexible may grab their feet instead of the band. Hold this position for 20 seconds, twice.
6. Chest Stretch
Sit on the floor, cross legged. Wide grip the loop band and stretch it over your head. Bring the loop band as low and as wide as you can to stretch your chest. You will also feel this stretch in your back and shoulders. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds, twice.
7. Tricep Stretch
Standing up, grab the resistance band with one hand and pass it over your shoulder so it dangles down your back. Take your other hand and bring it to your lower back and grad the resistance band. Pull down with your lower hand. You will feel a stretch in the shoulder holding the band in your upper back. Hold this for 30 seconds. Repeat the stretch with the other arm.
8. Calve Stretch
Loop the band around both feet. Using a chair for balance, put one feet forward and bring the other feet backwards, as high as you can. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Gently release and repeat the exercise with the other leg. You will feel a good stretch in your calve, your glute and the back of your leg.
9. Hip Abductor Stretch
Loop the band around your ankles. Stretch your feet apart, until the band is tight and not touching the floor. Standing on one feet, and holding a chair for balance, bring one leg apart. Extend as wide as you can. Keep your knee straight and stay in an upright position. Do this for 30 seconds, once for each leg.
10. Side Stretch
Sit in a cross-legged position hold to one side of the resistance band with one hand and keep that hand to the floor. Grab the other side of the band with the other hand and bring it over your head. Let your upper hand fall over your head, towards the hand on the floor. The band will create resistance and stretch your side. Hold this for 30 seconds on each side. You will feel this stretch on your side, chest and back.
For a full body stretching routine, do all the exercises in one session, preferably early in the morning. Remember to stay well hydrated while you stretch and to breathe deep.