We spend all day upright or seated with gravity weighing down on our spines. Our bodies have to work against gravity to circulate blood to all of our tissues, muscles and organs. The cumulative effect over decades can lead to misaligned posture, poor circulation and decreased functioning of our bodies.
If we can reverse the effects of gravity, even for a few minutes a day, it can do wonders for our circulation, posture and overall health.
We also know that most people don’t stretch enough and are excessively tight as a result of a sedentary lifestyle and/or sitting for extended periods of time. Stretching is often an uncomfortable experience for those who are tight and need it the most so it’s easy to understand why stretching is eliminated from their workout.
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Anti-gravity stretching is a wonderful technique that has even the most rigid, tight, “can’t touch your toes” people, enjoying their stretching segments. If you can make a stretch comfortable, you will often hold it long enough to allow your muscles and connective tissue to lengthen.
Utilizing a wall as a prop to perform anti-gravity stretching can allow you to stretch in a comfortable position with your back in a relaxed and neutral state. You can relax, breathe, focus into the stretch and you can even do it while reading or watch T.V. This will increase the amount of time you hold the positions for enhanced benefits.
Here’s some sample anti-gravity wall-stretches:
Lay on your back with your legs against the wall with your heels towards the ceiling. Find a position where you can feel a light stretch in the back of your thighs. To make the stretch more intense, move your hips closer to the wall. To make the stretch less intense, move your hips further from the wall. Hold this stretch for as long as you feel comfortable. Try to relax and breathe into the stretch. Feel free to read a magazine or watch T.V. while holding this stretch.
Hips and Back
Start with your legs in the hamstring stretch position. Now slowly let both legs fall to one side until they are resting on the floor. Bend the bottom leg and keep the top leg straight. Try to feel this stretch through your hips and lightly through your back.
Start with your legs in the hamstring stretch position. Now slowly separate your legs into a V-position until you feel a light stretch through your groin area.
Move yourself back about one foot away from the wall. Position one leg so that the bottom of the foot is in contact with the wall and the knee is at 90 degrees. Cross the other leg over so that the ankle is resting on the thigh. To make the stretch less intense, move your hips further from the wall. To make the stretch more intense, move your hips closer to the wall or lightly press the crossed leg away.
Try to hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. Try not to force any of the stretches. Relax and focus on slow, deep breathing.
Yours in health & fitness,
Northwest Personal Training is NOW OPEN! We are SO EXCITED to see you! For Private Training, you’ll have the option to continue doing virtual training, outdoor training or training at the studio. For Group Fitness classes, you will be able to continue doing virtual online classes (live or saved) and we are also going to host some outdoor programming.
We specific safety precautions that we have in place so please watch this video where I explain everything we are doing to keep you safe.
Here is a link to our Reopening Protocol in detail so you can review closely.