It is so important, and more so whilst we are in lockdown, that we improve our body’s basic functionality. I have been looking after my body physically with regular daily stretching to help my muscles, skeleton, and keep my mental health ‘balanced’ during isolation.
Upon waking I get out of bed and perform the following stretching to help my back and hip functionality. We will all be currently sitting more, and no doubt slouching during this time. Therefore, it would be good to develop a stretch routine to help your muscles and myofascial out whilst you are unable to visit me, for treatment, at my clinic in Bagshot.
The Saddle Split Stretch
The first stretch I opt to perform each morning is a saddle split with my feet against a wall. This is so I can see my progress, each week when I am able to get closer to the wall. This stretch will be uncomfortable for all, that will be a given. The older you are you will no doubt feel the increased tension of this stretch alongside the ligaments of your inner knees, as well as an intense stretch on your inner thighs.
The Spinal Twist Stretch
My second stretch is the spinal twist allows the Erector Spinae, Gluteus Medius, and Gluteus Maximus muscles to be stretched out. Hold for 30-45 seconds each side. Breathe deeply when carrying out this stretch and lift out of your hips, nice straight spine.
Seated Forward Bend Stretch
The third stretch of the morning is a seated forward bend. I like to perform and activate the stretch from a seated position against a wall. This position gives a great stretch to your spine and back muscles and helps to improve your digestion too.
The Butterfly Stretch
Fourth comes the butterfly stretch which is a good way to decrease tension and increase flexibility in this area of our body, as we all carry stress in our hips. Whether we walk, run, or sit our hips are a magnet for stress and are an important part of the kinetic chain. This is why it is included in my 5 daily stretches during isolation and post lockdown for life.
The Cow-Face Stretch
Fifth and final morning stretch is the cow-face pose. This stacked knee stretch will enable a real deep stretch, especially as you lean forward into the bend, to really hit the glutes, outer hips, and piriformis. When I carry out this stretch I find one side is ‘sticky’ in comparison to the other. So I go as deeply as my body will allow, on each side, breathing fully all the time.