HIP FLEXOR STRETCH
Tight hip flexors can hugely restrict your hip mobility, pelvis & lower spine position, and destroy your squatting technique, among other things. Stretching them on a daily basis is definitely a genius idea!
To perform the above stretch, take one knee in front of a bench, or chair. You may need a couple of yoga boxes, or something similar to cushion your knee. Your foot should be hooked over the edge of the bench. Use a stability ball, or another chair for balance. Once in position, push your hips forward while reaching over your shoulder towards the opposite bum cheek.
Haha! Bum cheek. 😂🤣
*Ehem* Excuse me. Lol.
Hold for ten to twelve seconds and release slowly. Be sure to work both sides evenly.
– Tayvis Gabbidon
FOAM ROLLER SPINAL STRETCH
Posture correction cannot be accomplished without constantly stretching the spine back into position. The foam roller works great for this.
Many of our lifestyles can lead to a poor posture. Working at a desk, texting on mobile phones, cycling, driving, etc. are tasks that require us to become more hunched over, putting more and more pressure on the spine as the shoulder girdle becomes victimised by gravitational pull. This will lead to lower back pain, upper back pain, knee pain, migraines, restricted nerves, kyphosis, lordosis, and a long list of other biomechanical problems. The only cure is to strengthen the postural muscles while simultaneously stretching the opposing ones (chest, abs, hip flexors, etc.).
To perform the above stretch, lie on the foam roller so that it is just above the center of your spine (just below the bottom corners of your shoulder blades). Your backside should be on the floor, knees together and feet flat. Try to wrap yourself around the roller while you reach overhead. Relax and let gravity pull your hands towards the floor. If you experience any clicks or cracks in the shoulders, or spine, don’t panic, as it is perfectly normal.
If your range of movement is poor you will find it quite painful and you won’t be able to get your head to the floor. If that is the case expect to feel an uncomfortable pressure on your throat. You can roll up a towel, cushion, or use a yoga block to rest the back of your head on in order to relieve the pressure. Decrease the height of head support slowly over time and you should eventually be able to wrap yourself around it completely.
Foam rollers are great for rolling your muscles. Rolling helps release the fascia around the muscles, but is NOT to be used in the same manner on the spine. Only use it for stretching.
Dynamic stretching, as opposed to static, is always the best option before training. During exercise you are not likely to stretch the muscle as far as it can go and hold (excluding a few gymnastics and martial arts movements), so it doesn’t make sense to do any such thing when preparing them for a workout.
Exercise typically involves a rapid and repetitive stretching and contracting of muscles. That is the key behind dynamic stretching. You should use light weights to dynamically stretch and contract the muscles using movements similar to those that make up your exercise routine. This will also warm the muscles up.
Be sure to use light weights. For the stretches in the above video I recommend the following:
Men – 2kg/5lbs
Women – 1kg/2.5lbs
Complete 10-12 explosive reps of each movement and your chest, back, shoulders, triceps and biceps will be ready for action!
– Tayvis Gabbidon