Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Hip Flexion Lying Down.

35. Hip Flexion Lying Down
Muscles involved: Gluteus maximus
Lying on the ground, flex one leg at both the hip and the knee and “hug” it with both hands, pressing the leg against the chest. The other leg remains extended on the ground.
This fairly simple exercise stretches the gluteus of the elevated leg, but the hip flexors of the extended leg are also stretched. People with lower degree of flexibility will notice how the leg that should remain on the ground naturally lifts up, something that should be avoided (for example, by placing the foot under a bar).
In this exercise, the assistance of a partner could be quite useful. The partner presses the elevated leg against the chest of the person stretching, while at the same time holding the opposite leg down on the floor (at the level of the tibia) in such a way that the leg is held down but not pressured.

Stride / Lunge.

34. Stride
Muscles involved: Illiopsoas
From a standing position, bring the body forward with a great stride without lifting the back foot off the ground. From this position, flex the back knee transferring most of the bodyweight to the front leg. The front knee must remain in a position just above the foot, never going beyond it. You can gently lower the weight of the trunk vertically by bringing the pelvis toward the floor to increase the stretch.
With this simple exercise we can do really work the hip flexors. To keep balance, you can rest your hands on the front leg or a side bench, as balance is vitally important in order to be able to perform the exercise correctly.
If we had to choose only one exercise to stretch the illiopsoas, this would be it, because of its simplicity and effectiveness.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Extension of the Hip While Seated on the Heels.

33. Extension of the Hip While Seated on the Heels
Muscles involved: Quadriceps
Seating on top of your heels, preferably upon a padded surface, extend the hip allowing the trunk to fall backwards in a controlled fashion.
In this exercise, leaning the body backwards extends the quadriceps and because of the position that is adopted, the hip flexors also participate.
On the other hand, if the discomfort inherent in this position troubles you, feel free to skip it as the muscles worked may be stretched with other more comfortable and effective exercises.

Tibial Flexion Seated With Knee Extended.

32. Tibial Flexion Seated With Knee Extended
Muscles involved: Ischiotibial muscles, gastrocnemius, soleus
Seating on the ground flex one leg over itself by bending the knee and resting the heel of the foot upon the adductor muscles of the opposite leg. The leg that is being stretched must remain with the knee extended. Now from this position, flex the hip slowly, lowering the trunk toward the outstretched leg.
During the exercise, the spinal column and the head must remain aligned. People with limited flexibility tend to flex the trunk over itself, believing that they are stretching the ischiotibial muscles by getting closer to the front leg, but this should be avoided.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Leg Stretching - Tibial Flexion With Semi-flexed Knee.

31. Tibial Flexion With Semi-flexed Knee
Muscles involved: Soleus
Standing and holding on to a support, push one leg backward and – with the knee semi flexed – plant the entire sole of the foot on the ground in such a way that the tension is felt in the area of the soleus (below the gastrocnemius). The forward leg remains in semi-flexion, supporting the weight of the body.
The important thing in this exercise is to keep the knee in flexion, to place more emphasis on the stretching of the soleus. The point of maximum stretch is achieved, by gently placing the heel of the back leg on the ground. The most common way of adjusting the tension over the soleus is to gradually bring the knee closer to the wall without lifting the heel off the ground.

Leg Stretching - Knee Flexion.

30. Knee Flexion
Muscles involved: Quadriceps
Standing up while leaning against a support for balance, flex a knee and hold on to the dorsum medial aspect of the foot that is raised using the ipsilateral hand, as shown in the illustration. Pressing the heel of the foot against the gluteus will stretch your quadriceps.
The hip should not be flexed, nor should you lean the torso, but if you extend the hip a little bit backwards on the side that is being worked, you can get a good stretch on one portion of the quadriceps, the bi-jointed rectus femoris.
On the other hand, if the hip moves in the opposite way (raising the knee in front of the body but maintaining the rest of the posture as is) you will be putting emphasis on the vastus lateralis and medialis of the quadriceps, taking some tension off the rectus femoris.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Get Healthy with Yoga!

Yoga is a great way to stay healthy and fit from head to toe. The practice offers a myriad of health benefits including better sleep, more supple joints, and a healthier heart—just to name a few. And a regular yoga practice is also one of the most effective ways to manage stress, which experts agree is key for optimal mental health. Whether you want to get in shape physically or emotionally (or both!), a regular yoga practice can help you cultivate lifestyle habits that will help you stay healthy for the rest of your life.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Hand Pronation With Extended Elbow.

29. Hand Pronation With Extended Elbow

Muscles involved: Supinator, abducens policis longus, extensor policis longus
As with the previous exercise, we start, preferably standing up, by extending our elbow completely, and putting the hand in a pronated position (it is turned as if pouring a pitcher of water), helping the movement with the opposite hand.
Stretching the indicated muscles here is not easy because the bony limits usually prevent it. This is why in this exercise we combine two movements in order to take the muscles to their maximum extension. Our pain rule applies here as well – if you feel pain you are taking things too far.
One interesting point to note is that pronation and supination of the forearm are not generated by the wrist, as it first appears. The wrist, in fact, lacks these two movements. The rotation is produced from the elbow, and it involves both the arm and the forearm muscles.

Hand Adduction With Extended Elbow.

28. Hand Adduction With Extended Elbow
Muscles involved: Extensor carpi radialis longus, abducens policis
Preferably standing up, extend the elbow completely and while keeping the hand adducted (the little finger is brought closer toward the forearm) press on the area of the thumb with your opposite hand.
By keeping the elbow extended you are working all of the target muscles, otherwise we would be focusing too exclusively on the muscles of the fingers. Let’s not forget that some of the muscles being stretched in this exercise are bi-jointed, meaning they cross both the elbow and the wrist.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Finger Separation.


Muscles involved: Palmar interosseous, dorsal interosseous of the thumb
Recommended for musicians playing the piano, guitar, flute, etc. With the help of the opposite hand, separate the fingers from each other, one by one. An alternative is to place an object like a cylinder or a rubber ball between the fingers and press it using the other hand towards the interdigital spaces of each finger. Some small muscles of the hand, the palmar interosseous for example, respond very well to this alternative.
Although the easiest one to separate may be the thumb (it’s called the opposing finger for a reason), the work should involve the entire hand.
Certain professions and hobbies demand excellent finger mobility, especially in the artistic fields. For example, musicians who play any one of several instruments like piano, guitar, flute, etc., will all benefit from this exercise, which they should practice conscientiously.

Finger by Finger Flexion With Assistance.


Muscles involved: The extensor muscle corresponding to the finger being flexed
The Finger by Finger Flexion, as the name reveals, is done one finger at a time. Simply hold on to each finger individually with the opposite hand and produce a deep but gentle flexion. The wrist must remain flexed at approximately 90°.
During the exercise, flex the wrist slightly with each pull of the finger in order to put even greater emphasis on the tension. Of course, as in all other stretching exercises, the movement here should also be slow and controlled.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Finger by Finger Extension With Assistance.

Muscles involved: The flexor muscle corresponding to the finger being extended
A simple exercise, performed by holding a finger with the other hand, and extending it individually. The stretch is maintained for a few seconds, and then one moves on to the next finger.
Even though this is a simple exercise, the pulling movement must be slow and sustained because it is not hard to injure a structure if it is done otherwise.
You might be tempted to think that stretching of each finger individually is a waste of time, feeling that it is enough to do them all together at the same time. That would be a mistake, however, since there is nothing more effective than dividing up the body areas as much as possible in order to obtain the best results from stretching – specific exercises are the true protagonists for increases in flexibility of a specific.

Arms Stretching - Prayer Hand Extension.


Muscles involved: Flexor digitorum profundus, abductor pollicis, flexor policis longus
Standing or sitting, preferably in front of a mirror, place the hands with the palms facing each other, in the regular “prayer” posture, and press the palms against each other. At the same time, lower the hands little by little towards the abdomen, without letting them pull apart.
An easy exercise that can be performed at any point during the day, like the rest periods in the middle of any long-lasting manual labor, perhaps. However, it is important to introduce variety into your training program. This one exercise is not a substitute for the other specific exercises for stretching the fingers because it does not stretch all of them equally with the middle fingers being stretched more.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Arms Stretching - Extension of the Hands Facing a Wall.

Muscles involved: Flexors of the fingers (deep, superficial, and the long flexor of the thumb)
Standing in front of a wall with the arms extended and the tip of the fingers pointing downward, press lightly to the front until the entire palm of the hand is resting on the wall. The arms should be raised until almost shoulder height as the image demonstrates.
By extending the elbows, you will stretch all of the muscles of the anterior part of the forearm, whereas if they remain partly flexed, the effort is centered on the small flexor muscles of the hand and fingers. The way to increase the intensity is to place the hands somewhat higher on the wall and then press lightly with the hand resting on the wall.

Arms Stretching - Frontal Extension of the Arms With Fingers.


Muscles involved: Flexors of the fingers (deep, superficial, and the long flexor of the thumb)
Interlacing the fingers with the palms facing each other, turn the forearms and extend the elbows in front of you. As you approach maximum extension of the elbows, you will feel the tension in the anterior part of the forearms.
A very simple exercise, appropriate for any person who works intensely with the hands, like information technology, construction worker, manual workers, etc.