fitness stretching

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Fitness Stretching

41. Hip Extensor and Back Extensor Stretch
Hip Stretches:

Method:
Lie on your back on a comfortable surface. Bend the left knee and bring it toward the chest. While keeping the right leg flat, grasp the left knee with both hands and pull it down toward the chest as far as possible.

Affected Body Part:
Most-stretched muscles: Gluteus maximus, erector spinae, lower latissimus dorsi. Lesser-stretched muscles in the right leg: Semitendinosus, semimembranosus, biceps femoris, gluteus medius.

Bringing the knee toward the armpit instead of the chest will increase the stretch in the muscles. You can do this exercise with both legs simultaneously, but it won’t be as effective as when done with each leg separately.
42. Standing Bent Knee Hip Adductor Stretch
Hip Stretches:

Method:
Stand upright with the legs more than shoulder-width apart and the left foot turned out. Lower the body (hips) to a half-squatting position, bending the right knee and sliding the left foot outward to the left to keep the left knee straight. While going down, place the hands on the top of the right knee for support and balance (or hold on to an object for balance).

Affected Body Part:
Most-stretched muscles: Left gracilis, left adductor magnus, left adductor longus, left adductor brevis, left pectineus, middle and lower part of left sartorius, left semitendinosus, left semimembranosus.
Lesser-stretched muscles: Medial side left gastrocnemius and left soleus, left flexor digitorum longus.

Keep the trunk as straight as possible. It is more comfortable to rest the left foot on the inside of the foot. To increase the stretch, bend the trunk to the right and press the right thigh down with both hands at the same time.
43. Seated Hip Adductor Stretch
Hip Stretches:

Method:
Sit on the floor in the lotus position (knees bent, feet together with the soles touching). Bring the heels of the feet as close as possible to the buttocks (distance depends on degree of flexibility). Grasp the feet or just above the ankles with elbows spreading sideways and touching the legs just below the knees. Bend the trunk over toward the feet, and press the lower part of the thighs and knees down with the elbows while stretching.

Affected Body Part:
Most-stretched muscles: Gracilis, adductor magnus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, pectineus, middle part of sartorius, lower erector spinae, lower latissimus dorsi.
Lesser-stretched muscles: Gluteus maximus, posterior part of gluteus medius.

The closer the heels are to the buttocks, the greater the stretch. Placing the heels 1 foot (30 cm) away from the buttocks increases the stretch on the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and erector spinae and places the greatest portion of the stretch on the origins of the adductor muscles.
44. Standing Raised Leg Hip Adductor Stretch
Hip Stretches:

Method:
Stand upright with weight balanced on the left leg. Place the right leg on a table, bench, or object that is about even with the height of the hips. While keeping the right knee straight, rotate the body sideways so that the trunk and the left leg face 90 degrees away from the raised right leg (allow the right leg to rotate so that the right knee points to the side). Point the left knee and toes forward (directly in front of the hips). Bend the left knee slightly, but keep the right knee straight. Hang both arms down in front of the left leg with the palms close to the floor. Alternatively, place the left hand over the left knee and the right hand on the lateral (outer) side of the right knee (as illustrated). Bend the trunk slightly forward toward the left knee.

Affected Body Part:
Most-stretched muscles: Right gracilis, right adductor magnus, right adductor brevis, right adductor longus, right middle sartorius.
Lesser-stretched muscles: Right medial gastrocnemius, right soleus.

Make sure to keep the right knee straight. The alternative hand placement allows for greater stretch especially if you apply pressure with the right hand on the right knee. The stretch is also increased with an increased bend of the left knee.
45. Standing Knee Flexor Stretch
Knee and Thigh Stretches:

Method:
Stand upright with the right heel 1 to 2 feet (30 to 61 cm) ahead of the left toes. Keeping the right knee straight and the left knee slightly bent, bend the trunk over toward the right knee. Reach the hands toward the right foot.

Affected Body Part:
Most-stretched muscles: Right semitendinosus, right semimembranosus, right biceps femoris, right gluteus maximus, right gastrocnemius, lower erector spinae.
Lesser-stretched muscles: Right soleus, right plantaris, right popliteus, right flexor digitorum longus, right flexor hallucis longus, right posterior tibialis.

For the best stretch, keep the right knee straight and bend the trunk directly from the hip. Keep the back as straight as possible. Turning the right foot slightly outward and bending the head and trunk more toward the medial (inner) side of the right knee will increase the stretch of the biceps femoris. Turning the right foot slightly inward and bending the head and trunk more toward the lateral (outer) side of the knee will increase the stretch of the semitendinosus and semimembranosus muscles.
46. Seated Knee Flexor Stretch
Knee and Thigh Stretches:

Method:
Sit on the floor with the legs extended and the inside of the ankles as close together as possible. Keep the feet relaxed in a natural position. Place the hands on the floor next to the thighs. Bend at the waist and lower the head toward the legs. If possible, keep the back of the knees on the floor. While bending forward, slide the hands toward the feet and keep them alongside the legs.

Affected Body Part:
Most-stretched muscles: Semitendinosus, semimembranosus, biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, gastrocnemius, lower erector spinae.
Lesser-stretched muscles: Soleus, plantaris, popliteus, flexor digitorum longus, flexor hallucis longus, posterior tibialis.

To maximize the stretch of the knee flexors, do not bend the knees, tilt the pelvis forward, or curve the back. Also, bend the trunk forward as a single unit, keeping it centered between the two legs.
47. Seated Knee Ankle Shoulder and Back Stretch
Knee and Thigh Stretches: Changing the hand position to grasp the toes shifts the stretch to other muscles.

Method:
Sit on the floor with the legs extended and the inside of the ankles as close together as possible. Keep the feet relaxed in a natural position. Bend at the waist and lower the head toward the legs. If possible, keep the back of the knees on the floor. While bending forward, slide the hands toward the feet, grasp the feet, and pull the toes slowly toward the knees (dorsiflexed position).

Affected Body Part:
Most-stretched muscles: Semitendinosus, semimembranosus, biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, gastrocnemius, lower erector spinae, soleus, plantaris, popliteus, flexor digitorum longus, flexor hallucis longus, posterior tibialis.
Lesser-stretched muscles: Lower latissimus dorsi, lower trapezius, posterior deltoid, teres major, teres minor, infraspinatus, triceps brachii.

48. Raised Leg Knee Flexor Stretch
Knee and Thigh Stretches:

Method:
Stand upright with weight balanced on the left leg. Flex the right hip and place the right leg (with the knee straight) on a table, bench, or other stable object that is approximately the same height as the hips. Bend at the waist, extend your arms over the lower right leg, and lower the head toward the right leg, keeping the right knee as straight as possible. Keep the left knee straight and the left foot pointing in the same direction as the right leg.

Affected Body Part:
Most-stretched muscles: Right gluteus maximus, right semitendinosus, right semimembranosus, right biceps femoris, erector spinae, lower latissimus dorsi, right gastrocnemius.
Lesser-stretched muscles: Right soleus, right popliteus, right plantaris, right flexor digitorum longus, right flexor hallucis longus, right posterior tibialis, left sartorius, left rectus femoris.

To maximize the stretch of the knee flexors, do not bend the knees, tilt the pelvis forward, or curve the back. Also, bend the trunk straight forward as a single unit, keeping it centered over the right leg. Increasing the height of the table or bench by 1 to 2 feet (30 to 61 cm) above the hips will increase the stretch of these muscle groups. You will also start feeling a stretch in some of the left-side muscle groups (sartorius, rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, lateralis, and medialis) as you increase the height of the table.
49. Raised Leg Knee Ankle Shoulder and Back Stretch
Knee and Thigh Stretches: Changing the hand position to grasp the toes shifts the stretch to other muscles.

Method:
Stand upright with weight balanced on the left leg. Flex the right hip and place the right leg (with the knee straight) on a table, bench, or other stable object that is approximately the same height as the hips. Bend at the waist, extend your arms over the lower right leg, and lower the head toward the right leg, keeping the right knee as straight as possible. While bending forward, slide the hands toward the feet, grasp the feet, and pull the toes slowly toward the knees (dorsiflexed position).

Affected Body Part:
Most-stretched muscles: Right gluteus maximus, right semitendinosus, right semimembranosus, right biceps femoris, erector spinae, lower latissimus dorsi, right gastrocnemius, right soleus, right popliteus, right plantaris, right flexor digitorum longus, right flexor hallucis longus, right posterior tibialis.
Lesser-stretched muscles: Left sartorius, left rectus femoris, lower trapezius, posterior deltoid, teres major, teres minor, infraspinatus, triceps brachii.

50. Recumbent Knee Flexor Stretch
Knee and Thigh Stretches:

Method:
Lie flat on your back in a doorway with the hips placed in front of the doorframe. Raise the right leg and rest it on the doorframe. Keep the right knee straight and the left leg flat on the floor. Place the hands palms down on either side of the buttocks. Keeping the right leg straight, use the hands to slowly move the buttocks through the doorframe until you feel a stretch in the back of the leg.

Affected Body Part:
Most-stretched muscles: Right gluteus maximus, right semitendinosus, right semimembranosus, right biceps femoris, right gastrocnemius.
Lesser-stretched muscles: Right soleus, right popliteus, right plantaris, right flexor digitorum longus, right flexor hallucis longus, right posterior tibialis, left sartorius, left rectus femoris.

To maximize the stretch of the knee flexors, do not bend the knees, tilt the pelvis forward, or curve the back. Adjust the distance between the buttocks and the doorframe to increase or decrease the stretch. The closer the buttocks are to the doorframe, the greater the stretch. Once the buttocks cannot be positioned any closer to the doorframe, bending the leg at the hip and moving the leg toward the head can increase the stretch.


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