Six Stretches to Help Alleviate Your Aches and Pains
Do you wake up each day with minor aches and pains? If you said yes, you’re not alone. Each day, thousands of people wake up with pain that wasn’t there when they went to sleep. We understand how frustrating this problem can be!
Here are six easy stretches to try at home, at your own convenience, that will help combat your lingering pain and stiffness. However, if this is new to you, always consult your doctor before you begin or significantly change your exercise regimen.*
1. Knee to Chest Stretch – Do you commonly have tightness or an ache in your lower back?
If you answered yes to this question, the knee to chest stretch might help alleviate this feeling. This stretch will help you ease the tightness in your lower back and rear end muscles, and you start by lying on the ground flat on your back with your toes pointed toward the sky. Once you’re in position, gently start to bend your right knee 90 degrees. With your hands behind your thigh, gently pull your leg up to your chest. Stay in this position for twenty seconds, then slowly relax your leg and continue with your other leg. Repeat this process three times for each leg.
2. Lying Knee Twist – Do you have aches in your mid-back or abdominal muscles throughout the day?
This stretch will help to strengthen your mid-back, buttocks, and abdominal muscles. To start, lie on your back with both of your legs flat on the ground, extended straight. Next, bend your right knee up and lay it across your body’s left side. Do this until you feel a pulling sensation through your back and buttock muscles. Hold this position for twenty seconds, and then clench your abdominal muscles and slowly move back to your original position. Repeat this process three or four times on both sides.
3. Yoga Cat/Cow Stretch – Do you have a tight or achy feeling throughout your back?
The Yoga Cat/Cow stretch will help to strengthen your back and core muscles. Begin on your hands and knees with your hands below your shoulders and your knees straight under your hip line. Slowly exhale, gently arching your spine while you do so. Hold it for five to ten seconds. Inhale, and clench your abdominal muscles and the muscles around your back while you do so, holding it for five to ten seconds. Move slowly between each movement, and repeat ten times.
4. Piriformis Seated Stretch – Do you have sciatica or radiating nerve pain down your legs?
This stretch is designed to slowly and gently lengthen your piriformis muscle over time. Sit down with your back straight, and bring your left leg over your right leg, placing your foot right next to opposite thigh, and tuck your right leg towards your rear end. Place your right hand on the outside of your left knee to help gently hold the stretch. Hold this position for 20 seconds, and alternate sides three times.
5. Cobra Stretch – Do you have lingering tightness in your lower back and abdominal muscles?
You can loosen your tight lower back and abdominal muscles by lying flat on your stomach with your legs out straight behind you. Plant your palms on each side of your head, making sure both your elbows and forearms remain horizontal to the ground. Slowly begin to push your body in an upward motion so your weight shifts. Settle onto your forearms while keeping your hips firmly on the ground. Once you feel a gentle stretching sensation in your core and the muscles in your mid to lower back, stop and hold that position for up to ten seconds. Slowly go back to the beginning position, and repeat four or five times.
6. Restful Pose – Are you tense throughout the day and looking for a simple way to relax?
You can loosen and relax your muscles by getting on all fours and positioning your knees slightly wider than your hips. Angle your feet inward until your toes touch and slowly slide your hips back while you bend your knees. When you get to a comfortable sitting point, completely slide your arms forward until they are straight in front of your body. From there, let your head go forward into a nice, relaxed position and stay in this position for twenty seconds. Slowly go back to your original position, and repeat three times.
Each of these gentle stretches can help you get rid of achy, tired, and tense muscles if you start a routine and keep it up. You’ll start to feel better, and you’ll be able to go about your day being more productive and happy as you do so.