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 Flexibility

Why do you have to stretch? It quickly activates the endothelium, which produces and regulates many substances critical for your heart. Stretching forces blood more strongly through all the small blood vessels, preparing your body to work without injury. Finally, stretching relaxes your entire body, reducing the effects of emotional stress.
     I don't like to stretch but I do this same routine every single day - it has significantly improved the way I feel. These exercises do not require any equipment, and are aimed purely at quality of life. This full routine takes roughly 5 minutes once you are used to it.

  Specific Flexibility Exercises  
 Do Them In This Order  
 Exercise   Area Stretched 
 Shrug   Traps, shoulders 
 Neck Rotation   Neck, traps 
 Side Neck Stretch   Neck, traps, shoulders 
 Side Stretch   Abdominals, Lats 
 Bicep Stretch   Biceps, forearms, shoulders 
 Tricep Stretch   Triceps 
 Doorknob Lat Pull   Lats (middle back), shoulders, forearms 
 Calf Stretch   Lower legs, ankles, foot 
 Knee Roll   Lower back, hips, abdominals 
 Butterfly   Hips 
 Hip Stretch   Hips, butt, back of thighs 
 Figure 4 Pull   Thighs, knees, hips 
 Standing Cat   Back (all), neck, back of thighs 
 Toe Touch   Back of thighs, knees, shoulders, back 
 Cross Toe Touch   Lower hamstrings (back of thigh), knees, back, abdominals 
 Hamstring Stretch   Back of thighs 
 Quad Stretch   Front thighs 

 Balance

Balance affects every move we make - and our ability to sit and stand. The following exercises are called "core stability" exercises. These don't work the usual skeletal muscles so much - they work "postural" muscles, the deep underlying muscles that we use without thinking to maintain our posture and stabilize our movements.
     These exercises should be done in reps and sets but you'll need to start more slowly. Begin with one set of 2 reps. You can do these every day, every other day, or every third day. Personally, I currently aim for one set of about 4 to 10 repetitions on these. None of these exercises require equipment, and are aimed purely at quality of life. Stretch first!
     In case there seems to be a lot of abdominal work here, let me quote Bruce Lee, "My strength comes from my abdomen. It's the center of gravity and the source of real power." Your abdominals, hip flexors, and lower back make basic movement easier or harder. These exercises will make it easier!

  Specific Core Stability Exercises  
 In and Out Knee Raise 
 Hip Roll 
 Climber 
 Pelvic Floor 
 Side Leg Raise 
 Split Leg Raise 
 Semi-Situps 
 Ab Cramp 
 Arm Bar 
 

All information on this site is opinion only. All concepts, explanations, trials, and studies have been re-written in plain English and may contain errors. I am not a doctor. Use the reference information at the end of each article to search MedLine for more complete and accurate information. All original copyrights apply. No information on this page should be used by any person to affect their medical, physical, legal, educational, social, or psychological treatment in any way. I am not a doctor. This web site and all its pages, graphics, and content copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Jon C.

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