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Party season – Stretch out Exercises

Tis the season to be merry and with it comes the Christmas parties. For many it is the only occasion that they are likely to be dragged on to the dance floor by a well meaning colleague, and for others it is an opportunity to show off some serious skills. However often with the party comes alcohol and a freedom of inhibitions. As a result many will wake up wondering what on earth they were doing on the dance floor the night before.

To help ensure that there are no nasty strains or sprains these exercises will help as both pre and post party stretches.

Stretch out your back

You have been sitting down at work for most of the day, don’t forget to loosen off those tired muscles before you put on your party shoes and venture out on to the dance floor.

Toe Touch

Stand up straight, tuck your tummy in (use the muscles you would normally use to stop yourself from going to the toilet). Keep your legs straight, tuck your chin into your chest, and gently roll down, (don’t hinge from your hips) and let your arms hang down as far as they can go. Hold the stretch as required, and then come up. This will increase the mobility in your spine, and stretch your Hamstrings.

Video: http://youtu.be/dkblofX4DW0

Cat Camel Stretch

Start in a neutral four point position on your hands and knees, slowly tuck your tummy in (as above) and let that movement travel up your spine as you round your back into an arched position with your chin tucked in. Then slowly unwind the stretch reversing the movement, by untucking the chin until the neck is level with the spine and gradually flatten then back. This will gently stretch to your lower back.

Video: http://youtu.be/Wq2AChekwwU 

Loosen off your hips

Tight hip flexors can often contribute towards back, hip and leg strains if you move suddenly or in ways your body isn’t used to.

Full Squat

Open your legs slightly wider than shoulder width, and bend your knees to the full squat (90 degrees) position if possible. Your feet can be pointing directly forwards, or turned out slightly. Make sure you keep the middle of your knee-cap in line with the middle toes of your foot. Always keep your feet flat on the ground. This will help to loosen off your hips. To enhance the benefits of the squat, hold onto a solid surface and gently swing your hips from side to side and back to front.

Video: http://youtu.be/d_xB-41ieqw 

Lunge

From standing, take a step forwards, and bend the front knee past the vertical. The back knee drops towards the floor. Always keep good alignment: your knee should stay over the 2nd ray of your foot, and never let your knee drop inwards.

Video: http://youtu.be/xASFze7P-Fs

Zig Zags – Lying

This is similar to breast stroke legs. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor with your knees and hips at right angles. Bring your knees together, connecting your inner thighs, and your feet stay hip distance apart, slide your feet away from you, when your legs are flat on the floor bring your feet together and turn your hips out and letting your knees drop out then bring your feet back up so that your knees are at 90 degrees again. Repeat this several times. Reverse the movement to zig zag back to the starting position. Avoid moving your back. This is aimed at mobilising your hips.

Massage & stretch your feet and calves

If you are going to wear heels that are higher than you are normally used, or shoes which are less supportive or more restrictive, use a spikey ball to massage your feet and calves & stretch them out so they aren’t vulnerable to strains on the night.

Spikey Ball Standing Calf Stretch

Standing up, place the ball of your foot and toes onto a spikey ball. This will create a stretch to your calf muscle at the back of the leg. Hold this stretch.
You can then place all of your weight through the foot on the spikey ball and massage your foot by rolling it backwards and forwards.

 

Thank you again to my colleagues at REHAB My Patient for their great exercises.
If you need more advice or a tune up to ensure your are fit and healthy for Christmas don’t forgot to book your appointment now.  #osteopathyworks to keep you healthy this festive season
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