Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stretch out.

This is for Mablack2 who wanted to see my stretch routine. I will list my current routine but also add in some old favorites that I am not currently doing regularly but I believe are amazing
The Full Stretchout: this is pretty much the sequence every AM

1) Foam roller( now on rumble roller): IT band, hamstrings,hip rotators/glutes, quads, TFL, calves, anterior tibs, lumbar spine.

2) Upward dog for abdominal release( can stay here for minutes at a time)

3) Downward dog, alternate leg for calf, hamstring release( and for my left knee)( same here. sometimes a five minute set), then double leg traditional down dog.

4) squat stretch: from downdog keep arms vertical and bring legs to side of arms, hip and knee stretch

5)seated straddle stretch: traditional pre split stretch for adductors and hammies. I don't emphasize forward lean here, just getting wider with tall chest position and vertical sacrum.

6) Single leg hamstring stretch with strap.

7) Crossover hamstring stretch with strap.

8) Single leg hamstring stretch from toes( strap looped over each individual toe)

9) Bretzell with straight top leg for hamstring stretch

10) Bretzell with bottom arm in external rotation

11) Bretzell with shoulder slide in frontal plane on floor( I don't grab the bottom leg and just work shoulder flexion with scapula flush on floor)

12) Hip opening stretch ( wide stance squat holding onto to support. shins vertical hips only move deeper,. Kind of like a supported goblet squat with prying, just wide.

13) Overhead stick stretch( straight back then each arm to ear. repeat 3-5 times moving hands in closer each time.

14) Behind back stick stretch with both grip positions, forward and back.

15) Overhead hang stretch on TAPS bar with under and over grip

16) Overhead stick stretch, three positions in standing lunge.

17) Back bend stretch over stability ball, hands clasped and locked elbows.

18) Standing Horse Stance squat stretch

19) Power squat rack position with stick, shoulder stretch

20) Foam roller, start over if necessary.

I hold each of these positions from 30 seconds to five minutes , focusing on breathing in and backing off the tension of the stretch and then exhaling and advancing the depth of the stretch. " breathe in back off, exhale an advance" the stretch. Basic Relax into Stretch.

The goal of static stretching is to push back the stretch reflex which is firing too early to give you your desired level of flexibility.I hold each stretch as relaxed as I can for as long as it takes to get the tight muscle to "release" .

How long? Can't tell you. Until it releases. Sometimes it takes seconds, other times many many minutes.The point of the stretch is the release. You have to wait for it and breathe, breathe, breathe into the stretch.

I now view my stretch training as Real training, not just something I have to do when I'm injured, or, trying to prevent injury. It is my yoga, it's own special practice. And, it ain't easy.


Diana said...

The very fact that I have NO idea what any of these stretches are tells it all....I suck at this and at my "young" age, flexibility is what I should be doing. Especially with 26.2 staring me down!
Now to go look these up somewhere!

Mark Reifkind said...


don't feel bad. most of these are my own stretch variations.the main thing is to stretch!