Stretching Exercises: Best Moves Hit Hard-to-Reach

Stretching Exercises: Best Moves Hit Hard-to-Reach

Stretching and self-myofascial release are critical for your body. Stiff joints and tight muscles are normal and a daily occurrence. This is where mobility is a major part. See Stretching Exercises: Best Moves Hit Hard-to-Reach

Mobility is something that improves your overall goals and daily activities. Exercises like these daily stretching examples change that and can make a huge beneficial change.

Dynamic stretching increases blood flow and can help muscles with better performance. Pulls, sprains and tears are also common, so these exercises can help with muscle recovery as well as tension release.

Your muscles are like a piece of fabric that you’re holding in front of you, if you were to pull that fabric in opposite directions, it would stretch up to a certain point. If continued to pull, some of the fibres would start to break. Given enough force, the fabric would eventually rip right in half. Your muscles are no different to the fabric.

Taking this into consideration, it proves the importance of stretching and trying to reach the muscles you wouldn’t naturally think of.

So to know if the pain is a strain or general fatigue, be sure to stretch before exercising, after and also with these examples, for those hard to reach muscles!

Try these articles to get some ideas for pre and post workout stretching:

1. The Blackburn

Targets:
  • Shoulders
  • Lats

  • Start by lying face down on the floor, place your arms at your sides, elevated above the glutes with your palms facing up.
  • Swing your arms towards the top of your head, rotating your palms so that at the top of the movement, they’re facing down towards the floor.
  • Return to the starting position for one rep.
  • Repeat for 4 sets of 12 reps.

2. A Calf Massage

Targets:
  • Calves

  • Start in a tabletop position with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Place your left knee on top of your right calf.
  • Starting in a clockwise direction, press your knee gently into your calf muscle and make small circles to massage.
  • Change direction.
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 30 seconds on each leg.

3. A Dynamic Side Lunge

Targets:
  • Hips
  • Hamstrings

  • Start in a wide stance position with your toes angled out.
  • Shift your hips back and shift all of your weight to the right side, lowering into a side lunge.
  • Allow your left toes to come off the ground and point up.
  • Push through your right heel to shift your weight to the left side, then repeat on the opposite side for one rep.
  • Complete 3 sets of 30 seconds with continuous movement.

4. Cross-Legged Stretch

Targets:
  • Hip Flexors
  • Inner Thighs

  • Start by lying face up.
  • Draw your knees to your chest then cross your legs over one another whilst simultaneously grabbing your ankles with the opposite hands.
  • Pull both of your legs towards your chest and back out until you feel the stretch in your hips and legs.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat for 3 sets.

5. The Frog Stretch

Targets:
  • Hips

  • Start on all fours on a cushioned surface, with wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Spread your knees wider than hip-width apart, turning your toes out.
  • Slowly move your hips back between your feet to feel a stretch deep in your hips.
  • If it’s too intense, support more of your body weight with your hands and upper body, and ease back slowly until you gain more flexibility.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat for 3 sets.

6. A Hamstring Sit-Back

Targets:
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Hips

 

  • Start on all fours, your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • Extend the left leg straight out to the left side with your toes pointing up.
  • Send your hips back to the right heel, shifting all of your weight to the right side.
  • You should feel a stretch along the back of your left leg.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side for one set.
  • Complete for 2 sets.

7. The Hip Opener

Targets:
  • Hips

  • Start in a high plank position, wrists under your shoulders and your core tight.
  • Bring your left foot outside your left hand, then weave your hand around the back of the foot and place it on the left side.
  • Lean into your left hip by shifting your weight towards the left side whilst keeping your right foot in place.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side for 1 set.
  • Complete for 2 sets.

8. An Origami Stretch

Targets:
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Lower Back
  • Quads

  • Start in a seated position with your legs extended straight out in front of you.
  • Cross your right leg over your left knee, placing your left foot on the floor.
  • Grab hold of your right knee, then lean back to lie down, pulling your right knee with you (drop the right shoulder for a deeper stretch).
  • Then, bend at the knee to grab your left ankle and bring it towards the glutes for a quad stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side for 1 set.
  • Complete for 2 sets.

9. Lower Back Knee Drop

Targets:
  • Lower Back

  • Start in a seated position with your knees bent and heels on the floor in front of you.
  • Place your hands behind you, palms down, fingertips facing your glutes, with a slight bend in your elbows.
  • Drop both of your knees to the left side, stacking them at the bottom of the movement.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side for 1 set.
  • Complete for 2 sets.

10. A Piriformis Massage

Targets:
  • Piriformis (The piriformis muscle is a small muscle located deep behind the glutes (making it hard to reach) that connects the lower spine to the femur, functioning at the hip.)

  • Start in a seated position with your legs outstretched in front of you. Using your right hand, pull your left knee up towards your chest and cradle it in your right arm.
  • Your shin should be parallel to the floor.
  • Stretch your left arm straight out to your left side and rest your fingertips on the floor as you gently lean back and to the left onto the upper/outer portion of glutes.
  • Roll around in a circular motion here until you feel the pressure on the piriformis.
  • Once you find it, roll around on it for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side for 1 set.
  • Complete for 2 sets.

11. A Wide-Step Hamstring Stretch

Targets:
  • Hamstrings

  • Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width distance apart.
  • Cross your right foot over your left as far as possible (there should be a gap between feet).
  • Hinge at the hips to bend over and reach for your right toes.
  • Lower as far as possible, and if you have the flexibility to keep your legs straight, that will maximise the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds then repeat with your left leg for 1 set.
  • Complete for 2 sets.