USDA Stretching Guidelines


Here are some stretches to get you started:

  • Neck. Tilt head down and side to side -- but always return to a center starting point before changing direction. Avoid tilting head to the back, as it may compress the cervical spine, and don't roll your neck around, as this may put too much pressure on the cervical spine. shoulders. Lift shoulders up toward ears, hold, and release; repeat. Next, make numerous forward circles with one shoulder, then the other. Repeat in opposite direction. Rolling shoulders forward and back several times in each direction will help relieve some of the stress of tight muscles around the upper back, neck, and shoulders.
  • Back of shoulder, upper back. Bring one arm across the front of your body and pull it close to your chest with the opposite hand.
  • Triceps. Place a hand at nape of neck, with the elbow pointing up. With the opposite hand, press the elbow toward the back. Repeat with the other arm.
  • Chest. Stand in a doorway and grasp each side of it. Lean forward slightly until you feel a good stretch in your chest muscles, then hold.
  • Front of thigh. Holding on to a chair or wall to stabilize yourself, lift right heel toward your buttocks. Grab it with your right hand and continue to pull your foot up until you feel a gentle stretch in your thigh. Try to remain upright and open at the front of the hip on the side you are stretching. Try not to overflex the knee. Hold. back of thigh. Stand facing a step, one stride away. Place heel of one leg on step, keeping leg straight. With the opposite hand, reach toward the foot, bending forward from the hip, not the waist. You may bend the leg you're standing on.
  • Calf and achilles. Standing with the balls of the feet on a step, drop heels down, keeping legs straight. Repeat several times. For Achilles, bend the knee a little bit when the heel is still down.

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