Tag Archives for " stretches and exercise "

How Long Should I Hold a Stretch?

Ever wondered: how long should I hold a stretch?  30 seconds? 60 Seconds? Longer?

For normal static stretching, or stretching a muscle to a comfortable end range of motion and holding it, the duration of the stretch is going to depend on how tight you are.  Some people will feel a release after only 30 seconds, while others might need closer to 4 or 5 minutes. Just keep in mind that anything less than 20 seconds won’t make a significant difference in lengthening muscle fibers and tissue.

That being said, most people will find that 60 seconds is plenty. You can split this time up, such as doing 15 second holds repeated 4 times, or 20 second holds repeated 3 times.

The biggest thing I’d like to stress is DO NOT stretch into pain; the ‘no pain no gain’ mentality nothing more than a myth. In fact, if you cause pain while stretching, it’s simply counterproductive (and can make things worse).  However, you can stretch into mild discomfort; but you shouldn’t have to hold your breath, grit your teeth, or start cursing like a sailor. Stretch, breathe slowly and comfortably, and imagine with every exhale you are releasing tension.

 

St. Joseph, MI Chiropractic Center — Dr. Michael Rowe

Interested in getting more health tips and info? Like us on Facebook or Twitter to get our latest blog postings.

Did you like this post? If so, click the Facebook button below to share it with your friends!

 

Making Exercise Fun Through Drumming

For senior citizens, a good way to get some exercise is through group fitness classes like cardio drumming.

Locally around St. Joseph/Benton Harbor, MI there are a couple options for these classes. Check them out:

  1. The St. Joseph-Lincoln Senior Center, open to all citizens age 60 and older.
  2. Benton Harbor-St. Joseph, MI YMCA

If you know of any other places offering cardio drumming, please let us know in the comment section below!

 

St. Joseph, MI Chiropractic Center — Dr. Michael Rowe

Interested in getting more health tips and info? Like us on Facebook or Twitter to get our latest blog postings.

Did you like this post? If so, click the Facebook button below to share it with your friends!

The Best Hamstring Stretches

Here is a general hamstring stretch and flexibility program that you can do to improve the way your hammy’s move.

Sitting Hamstring Stretch

Let’s get started with this simple seated hamstring stretch. If you have low back pain or sciatica, this exercise may place strain on your back, so proceed with caution with this hamstring stretch.

  1. Sit on the floor with both legs out straight.
  2. Extend your arms and reach forward by bending at the waist as far as possible while keeping your knees straight.
  3. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Relax back into the starting position.
  5. Repeat 3 times.

Be sure to stretch until a gentle pull is felt in the back of your thighs. If you feel any excessive pain, you should stop the exercise.

Hurdler Hamstring Stretch

The hurdler hamstring stretch is a simple exercise that can be done right on the floor or any flat surface.

  1. Sit on the floor with one leg out straight.
  2. Bend the other leg at the knee and position the sole of that foot against your opposite inner thigh.
  3. Extend your arms and reach forward over the one straight leg by bending at the waist as far as possible.
  4. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
  5. Relax.
  6. Repeat 3 times on each side.

Towel Hamstring Stretch

Your chiropractor may teach you to use household items to perform your stretching exercises, and most folks have towels to perform their towel stretches. The towel hamstring stretch is a simple one to do. Here’s how:

  1. Lie on the floor on your back.
  2. Loop a long bath towel around your toes.
  3. Hold the ends of the towel in both hands, and then slowly lift your leg, using the towel to pull your straight leg up.
  4. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, and then relax.
  5. Repeat 3 times.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

The next hamstring stretch is a simple one to do anywhere at all. It is done in the standing position. Here is how you do the standing hamstring stretch:

  1. Stand and cross your right foot in front of your left.
  2. Slowly lower your forehead to your right knee by bending at the waist.
  3. Keep both knees straight.
  4. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Relax.
  6. Repeat for the other side by crossing your left foot in front of your right. Repeat 3 times for each side.

Runner’s Hamstring and Calf Stretch

The runner’s stretch is a common flexibility exercise for your hamstrings or calf muscles.

  1. Stand one foot from a wall and place your hands on the wall at shoulder height, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Take a step back with one leg while pushing into the wall.
  3. Keep your back straight and press your heels into the floor.
  4. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Step forward and repeat with the other leg.
  6. Repeat the exercise 3 times on each side.

 

St. Joseph, MI Chiropractic Center— SpineCare Decompression and Chiropractic Center

Interested in getting more health tips and info? Like us on Facebook or Twitter to get our latest blog postings.

Did you like this post? If so, click the Facebook button below to share it with your friends!