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Why Stretch?

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Pain

Stretches

Neck stretches

Back Stretches

Wrist Stretches

Balance Exercises

Advanced Stretches

Prop Stretches

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Iliotibial Stretches

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Lotus Exercises

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First Class!

We start from the ground up

First, read and familiarize yourself with the information on this page.
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Certain terminology will be used throughout the site,and those terms will be defined here. Included are pictures of details of body positions that are common to many stretches that are shown on this site.
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You will find pictures and explanations of incorrect as well as correct postures, so you can avoid injuries and stretch to your greatest potential.
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Throughout Howtostretch.com, instructions will include details as described below. In some cases, the details may be highlighted: click on the highlight and you will be taken back to this page to refresh the details.
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Go slowly. Do not rush. Feel your muscles as they stretch. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE SENSATIONS. Breathe.
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Hold each posture and relax. If you get into a stretch too fast, you can tear a muscle. Also, don't jump out of a position, come out of it slowly.
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How long should you hold a position? I recommend holding the position long enough to feel the stretch sensation change from tension in the muscle to a sense of relaxation while stretched. Move slowly. For some people, just getting into the position for a few moments will be more than enough. As you progress, try to hold the position longer and longer, so you can elongate the muscles. I sometimes hold a stretch for five minutes to fifteen minutes, but keep in mind, I have been stretching for 34 years, so my muscles are used to it. Be patient.

Straight Back
The term straight back is used to define the position of the spine, from the base of the spine (sacrum) through the neck (cervical spine) to the back of the head. In many of the stretches, for example, where we stretch out over a leg, you are instructed to keep a straight back.

Below left is a picture of a straight back, below right is a picture of the incorrect back posture (one of many, only one is demonstrated)


The arms, when held above the head, should line up with the ears, as in the picture on the left. On the right, the upper back is curved. Since the head is closer to the leg, one may feel that they are lower in their stretch, but the reality is that just the back is curved.

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Disclaimer

It is possible to injure onself in any physical activity. Consult your physician if in doubt about your physical condition before embarking on a stretching program. The author of howtostretch.com accepts no liability for any injuries sustained while practicing any of the stretches described within.

 

 

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