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  • Writer's pictureiCare Community Magazine

The 5 Best Stretches for Improving Flexibility

Online classes are hard on not only your eyes but also your muscles! If you’ve felt the excruciating aches and pains of sitting in front of your computer today, you’re not alone. In this article, I’ll share five great stretches that you can try out in between those long hours of lectures and tutorials to help increase your mobility and provide some much needed relief.

Neck semicircles

This stretch is quite simple, but it addresses some muscles that you may otherwise neglect: the trapezius and your neck’s flexors and extensors. To do this quick stretch, all you have to do is stand or sit in a posture that feels comfortable for you. Next, bring your chin close to your chest and move your neck from shoulder to shoulder at a slow pace.

Downward dog

This classic stretch is one that you’re probably familiar with, and it is absolutely great for flexibility. To do a downward dog stretch, you should be starting on your hands and knees - with your arms a shoulder’s width apart.

Then, descend your head into your arms as you slowly raise your hips. Hold for as long as you’re comfortable and release - you’ll have done a great downward dog. This stretch is great for your calves, hip, and hamstrings.

Standing hamstring stretch

In this stretch, you’re basically trying to fold yourself - not too complicated right? To get started, you should stand up, place your feet at a hip’s width, keep your arms stationary, and bend your knees just a little. Now, bend forward at the hips, bringing your head to the ground, and grab your calves with your hands until you feel ready to stop - 45 seconds to two minutes is a good interval. Finally, stand up again, bending your knees along the way. Feels good, right?

Ankle rolls

No, this is not the excruciating injury you get when you think you can play basketball in Vans. Here’s a great stretch that is extremely simple to follow. Sit and lift up your foot onto your lap and slowly roll your ankle in a clockwise circle before going counter-clockwise. It’s as easy as it sounds!

Frog stretch

You know, I thought after the Shrek workout article in the last issue that swamp creatures and fitness would never crossover again - yet here we are.

Just like the aforementioned downward dog, this one starts on your hands and knees, except now you want to stretch your knees further than shoulder width apart, resting the inner part of your feet on the ground. Pull your hips toward your heels and make sure you keep your hands adjacent to your arms. Once you’re in position, you should look quite literally like a frog. Hold for 30 seconds and you’re ready to go!

This one’s good for your hip and groin region, parts of your body that can be ignored as you watch your lectures at two-times speed to convince yourself you’re being extra productive.

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