Friday, October 13, 2017

Exercises for Flexibility and Strength

Flexibility training is just as important as anything else within your fitness routine, yet is often the most overlooked. Many people may feel as if stretching is not intensive enough, therefore no benefit can come from it. Instead of trying to convince the stretching skeptic, here are some core-focused exercises that are also great for flexibility.

Caution- If you have sensitive knees grab a blanket to use underneath your knees or double your mat. Always drink water before and after stretching and consult your physician if you are unsure if you should be performing exercise. 

Engaging the core
Before starting these stretching exercises, it's imperative to connect with the core first so that you are able to focus on this area effectively throughout the session.

Come to a comfortable seated position with your shoulders rolled back and down. Place your hands on your knees or in your lap while keeping the neck neutral. Begin with an inhale with the intention of engaging your core. As you inhale draw the belly out as far as you can without too much discomfort. With the exhale draw the belly in as much as you can without too much discomfort. Repeat 5x.

Quads, core, chest and shoulders
From a seated position come to all fours then shift your weight onto your heels. From here lift your upper body up on to your knees with a straight back. Next bend your right knee and grab your ankle with both hands (hold a wall or chair for balance). Engage your core while bending forward slightly then come to a neutral spine. Repeat 5x on each side.

Hips, shoulders, chest, core
From the position on your knees bring your right leg forward while engaging the core with the breath. Twist while bringing your left hand to the right knee. With the twist bring your right hand behind you averting your gaze over your shoulder. Hold 3 deep breaths then switch to the other side. 

Core, shoulders, hamstrings, quads
Come to an all fours position. Bring your left arm out in front and kick your right leg behind. Engage the core and squeeze the glutes and lower back. 

Part 2 From the previous position bend the right knee and grab the foot with the left hand. If you are not able to reach your foot you can use a towel or strap. You will feel a nice stretch in the quads, shoulder and hamstrings. Hold each for 5 seconds and switch to the other side. Repeat each side 2x.

End in a comfortable seated position while engaging your core 5x with the breath.

These exercises not only provide muscle toning and core strengthening, but they are great for flexibility.  With time you will find that the breath and the engagement of muscles becomes a natural process.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at I also offer free consultations. Thanks for reading!

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