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Stretches

Please ask your Browns Plains Chiropractor Dr. John Sichter, Dr. Craig Brady and Dr. Shondelle Sichter for which stretches will benefit you in your specific case and when you can start them! Remember, stretches are not a replacement for your Chiropractic Care.
Brugger Relief Position
(Skaggs & Green: 2000)

This exercise is an extremely useful one as it involves a reversal of the habitual posture so many of us hold in everyday activities (sitting at a desk, slumping in the car, bending over tables etc). This position can be achieved standing or seated and is an excellent stretch break for those habitually working on computers.

Begin with the elbows bent at 90 degrees. Pull the arms back as far as possible whilst keeping the arms close to the body. In this position, rotate the arms outward bringing the hands as far away from the body as possible. In this position, tuck the chin as far back as possible, making as many chins as you can and then imagine a string is pulling the chest up toward the ceiling at 45 degrees. Maintain this position for up to 20 seconds as many times a day as possible.

Chin Tuck

This exercise not only helps strengthen the muscles that pull the head back into alignment over the shoulders (upper thoracic extensors) but it also stretches the scalene and suboccipital muscles.

Keep chin down so head is not looking up and push the head back.

The chin tuck exercise can be done leaning against the wall as well and at numerous times throughout the day, such as while sitting in the car or at the desk at work.

The repetition of this exercise throughout the day also helps develop good postural habits.

Neck Stretches

Seated or standing place the left hand over the head covering the right ear.

In this position, gently pull the head towards the left side of the body to obtain a stretch from the top of the neck on the right to the right shoulder and arm.

Hold for up to 10 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

Place the left hand over the head and support the back of the head.

Gently pull the head downward towards the left shoulder to create a stretch over the upper neck muscles at the back of the head.

Hold for up to 10 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

Be very careful not to over stretch, small amounts at a time.

Shoulder Stretches

Release your arms and stretch them out in front of you, palms up.

Then cross one arm over the other, above the elbow.

Bend the bottom arm (bringing your hand towards the ceiling) and gently pull the outstretched arm to that side.

Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.

Reach your right arm back, so that your hand pushes on the branch/wall.

Keep your arm straight at shoulder level.

Turn your body away from your arm until you feel a pull in your chest muscles.
Hold for 15 or more seconds.

Mid Back Stretch
(with Foam roll)
Mid Back Stretch

Place the foam roll on the ground and lay across the foam roll on your mid back, stretching out your arms above your head, stretching the whole mid back and torso.

Hold this position for 15 seconds or more and proceed to work up and down the back in various locations from the top of the shoulders to the bottom of the rib cage only.

Get a hand towel, roll it up and place it longitudinally behind your upper back e.g. start the towel from the base of your neck down.

Then you lay down on a flat surface on your back for 30 seconds to start.

Back Release Stretch

The knees-to-chest is a basic low-back flexibility exercise you can use for a variety of purposes.

Lay flat on the ground with your neck straight and pull one knee at the time to your chest and hold for 15 or more seconds.

For variation of this exercise pull both knees to your chest.

Do the knees-to-chest stretch gently as a break from work or other activities to release tension from your lower back and pelvic muscles.

If you perform it slowly and carefully, knees-to-chest may also relieve tight hip muscles. In turn, this may increase low back flexibility.

Glute Stretch

Sit on the floor with one leg bent and the other straight. Turn your body towards the bent knee side until you feel a stretch in your buttocks. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times, 2x daily, or before and after exercise. Progression:

1) Bend one knee and cross it over the other leg so your foot is by the other knee. Repeat the stretch.

2) Stretch the glutes further by anchoring your elbow round the bent knee and pulling the knee further over to the opposite side.

Lie flat on your back and bend both knees.

Cross 1 leg over the other so your foot is on the opposite knee.

Bring both knees towards your chest and gently pull the uncrossed leg towards you until you feel a stretch in your buttock.

Hold for 15 or more seconds. Repeat 3 times, 2x daily, or before and after exercise.

Hip Flexer

Kneel on right knee, with toes down, and place left foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent and aligned with ankle.

Press hips forward until you feel tension in the front of your right thigh.

Slightly arch your back while keeping your chin parallel to the ground.

Hold for 15 or more seconds, then switch sides.

Quad Stretch

Standing on one leg, raise the other foot behind you, bending the knee. You want to pull the foot as close to your buttocks as possible and try to tilt the pelvis outwards.

Use the right hand to hold the right foot. To deepen this stretch, use the opposite hand to hold the foot. If necessary, hold on to a wall or chair to maintain your balance.

Repeat this stretch on both sides of the body.

Many people have tight quadriceps muscles and it takes time to achieve an adequate stretch. Be sure to breathe through the stretching exercises and give yourself adequate time in each stretch.

A minimum of 15 seconds is recommended.

Calf Stretch

Extend one foot behind you with heel on the ground and lean forward until you feel a stretch in the calf of the extended leg (if you have a wall close by you can push with your arms against it).

Hold this stretch for about 15 seconds and change sides.

To deepen the stretch simply extend the foot a little bit further and push the heel on the ground.

Adductor Stretch
(Inner thigh stretch)

Stand with your feet two to three times shoulder width apart and your feet facing forward.

Turn your left foot sideways and bend that knee to drop into a side lunge, keep your right leg perfectly straight.

Push your right hip down towards the ground and lean your torso to the right until you feel it through the inside thigh of your right leg.

Hold this position for at least 15 seconds, then switch leading legs and repeat.

This Inside Thigh Stretch focuses on increasing the range of motion of your hip by stretching the groin, which allows more lateral movement of your leg.

Strengthening
Neck strengthening

Begin this neck exercise sitting or standing tall with your back and neck straight, shoulders should be back slightly.

Place your hand on your forehead and slowly push your head to the front against your hand. Keep your eyes and nose facing forwards.

Hold for 3 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Place your hand behind your head and slowly push your head back against your hand.

Core strengthening
(plank)

Place your elbows underneath your shoulders, curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine.

Straighten your body but keep your neck and spine neutral. Imagine that you’re a plank of wood, and that you’re straight as an arrow.

Hold the plank for 15 secs and repeat 3 times.

If your lower back starts to collapse, stop the exercise. Make 60 secs your goal.

Core strengthening
(Side plank)

Lie on your left side with your knees straight.

prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm, position your elbow under your shoulder.

Brace your core by contracting your abs forcefully as if you were about to be punched in the gut.

Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders.

Your head should stay in line with your body.

Hold this position for 15 or more seconds while breathing deeply

Turn around so that you’re lying on your right side and repeat.

Crunches

Stand with your feet two to three times shoulder width apart and your feet facing forward.

Turn your left foot sideways and bend that knee to drop into a side lunge, keep your right leg perfectly straight.

Push your right hip down towards the ground and lean your torso to the right until you feel it through the inside thigh of your right leg.

Hold this position for at least 15 seconds, then switch leading legs and repeat.

This Inside Thigh Stretch focuses on increasing the range of motion of your hip by stretching the groin, which allows more lateral movement of your leg.