It’s almost Summer and that means travel for many of us. Between hauling luggage and long spells of sitting, our bodies can get weary and out of alignment from all of the demands of travelling.
Here are 3 simple stretches you can do anywhere. No props needed and they’re all done standing.
These are also great if you’ve been sitting at a desk(or anywhere) for a long period of time too!
Try these with me and put them in your brain for the next time you’re travelling. Better yet, do them everyday.
Whether you're really active or really sedentary the hamstring stretch is something that I've found beneficial for every client I've ever worked with. I'm not saying we all need to be able to kick our legs like the Rockettes, but I do believe that stretching the back of the legs is a key element of hip health.
This stretch is one of my favorite things to do at the end of the day. I either lay on the mat in front of the TV or put on some tunes and dim the lights. Regardless, I chill out and stretch. And when I'm done, I feel so good!
I'd love for you to join me.
If you didn't know already, I LOVE my foam roller. And I want you to love yours too because a happy body = a happy mind and spirit. Lying on the foam roller is one of my favorite things to do. I tend toward having forward shoulders(ie: tight pecs) and a forward head(the two go hand in hand). These stretches are perfect if you have a similar posture.
The shoulder openers I share in this video are perfect as a prep for a Pilates workout and they're wonderful at the end of the day - which for me, is post-computer time.
Can you breathe into your armpits? Well, can ya?
Sitting right where you are, without changing your body position, take a deep breath and notice the sides of your ribs as you breathe in and out.
On the inhale-
- Are you feeling expansion of the ribs to the sides?
- What about up into your armpits?
We often get really stuck in the sides of our bodies. Which makes it hard to breathe into the side of the ribcage.
One of the many gifts of Pilates is the focus on breath. A simple thought about your breath can change the way you feel. It’s cleansing. It’s relaxing. Refreshing.
Try this rainbow stretch in a doorway. Be sure to stretch both sides. When you’re finished, try breathing into those armpits again.
The bones and muscles of the hand are working all the time to complete the most basic tasks that we don’t even think about. Can you think of all the times you reach and grab for something? Every time you eat, when you pick up a book, flip the page of said book. When you cook and clean, while you're browsing the internet, using your remote control and your smartphone. The list goes on and on.
If you haven’t thought about it, start to pay attention over the next few days to how often you use your hands. They are amazing and they help us to accomplish so many tasks in our every day life.
We can sometimes hold a surprising amount of tension in the forearm and hand without even realizing it. So how about giving your hands some (well-deserved) love and attention?
Today I give you a wonderful wrist stretch that will ease up some tension on the wrist, hand and forearm.
Stop right now for just a moment and think about your shoulders. Where are they sitting?
- Are they close to your ears?
- Are they relaxed?
- Are they forward?
- Do you feel tension at the top of your shoulders?
- How about the top of your neck?
- Maybe even in the front of your chest?
It is highly likely, that the answer to at least one of those questions was yes. I haven't met many people that are completely free of neck tension.
With my own set of neck issues, I have found this amazing neck stretch to be one of my hands-down favorite stretches. I learned this stretch from the woman who taught me how to teach Pilates, Kelly Kane of the Kane School in NYC. She is brilliant.
This stretch is great with a resistance band, but if you don't have one, simply do the stretch without the band and allow your arm to hang.