Writer: ARUSHI BIGHURI | Outlet: Pink villa
Ever wondered why some people are able to touch their feet with their hands like it’s a piece of cake, while you struggle to even get your hands to reach your calves? Touching your toes while sitting or standing is a basic flexibility test most of us have performed at some point in our lives. But somehow, you’re unable to get it right and the moment your instructor asks you to cool down, you run out of the door.
While a number of studies have covered the importance of exercise for the body and mind, little is known about flexibility. Flexibility prevents injury, improves posture and mobility. Health professionals also believe that it helps stave off many diseases such as arthritis. But how is it possible to improve flexibility? Some stretches can help you.
Here are some stretches to improve flexibility.
1- Cat-cow pose
Start in a tabletop position, shoulders over wrists and hips over knees. Now, balance your weight on all fours. Inhale expanding the belly toward the floor and exhale as you tuck in your chest and arch your spine toward the ceiling. Focus on releasing all the tension. Do this pose for a minute or more as per your capability.
2. Seated Straddle
Sit on the floor with both legs straightened out in a “V” position and inhale. As you exhale, slowly bend forward as far as you can with a flat back. Make sure your knees and toes are pointing straight up, and spine is not hunched over. Place your hands in front of you and work on reaching your hands out and lowering your chest to the ground.
3. Lying Hamstring Stretch
Lie flat on the floor and loop a band around one foot. Now, slowly pull the leg toward your face, feeling the stretch in the back of your leg. Bring the leg back to the start and stretch the leg out away from your body.
Now, bring your leg back to start and stretch the leg across your body, and bring back to start and repeat with the other leg.
4. Pigeon Pose
Sit on the floor with your knee bent and open to the side, and left leg extended straight behind the body. Place your hand out in front of your body, keeping your chest over the right knee. Hold the pose for a while and repeat on the other side. There are variations of this pose, but if you are a beginner this should work for you.