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Flexibility - Upper Body

PECTORAL STRETCH Purpose To stretch pectorals. Position Stand erect in doorway with arms raised 45 degrees , elbows bent, and hands grasping doorjambs; feet in front stride position. Movement Press forward on door frame, contracting the arms maximally for three seconds. Relax and shift weight forward on legs so muscles on front of shoulder joint and chest are stretched; hold. Repeat with arms raised 90 degrees. Repeat with arms raised 135 degrees. Note Useful to prevent or correct round shoulders and sunken chest.

LATERAL TRUNK STRETCHER Purpose To stretch arm and trunk muscles. Position Sit on the floor. Movement Stretch left arm over head to right. Bend to right at waist, reaching as far to right as possible with left arm and as far as possible to the left with right arm; hold. Do not let trunk rotate. Repeat on opposite side. For less stretch, overhead arm may be bent at elbow. Note This exercise can be done in the standing position but is less effective.

ARM STRETCHER Purpose To stretch arm and chest muscles. Position Cross arms and turn palms of hands together. Raise arms overhead behind ears. Extend elbows. Movement Stretch as high as possible. Hold. ARM PRETZEL Purpose To stretch lateral rotators of the shoulder. Position Stand or sit with elbows flexed at right angles, palms up. Movement Cross right arm over left; grasp right thumb with left hand and pull gently downward, causing right arm to rotate laterally. Stretch and hold. Reverse arm position and repeat on left arm.

TWO-HAND ANKLE WRAP Purpose To stretch the muscles of the arms, shoulders, back and legs. Movement Bend forward and place the arms between knees; bend knees and wrap arms around legs, attempting to touch fingers in front of ankles. Hold 10 seconds.

WAND STEP-THROUGH

Position Stand; grasp wand with palms down, hands shoulder width apart. Movement (a) Bend forward and swing right leg around the outside of the right arm and over the wand (from front to back) into the "hole'' made by the arms and wand. (b) Slide the wand around the back of the body by bringing the left arm over the head; then slide the wand under the hips and (c) step over the wand (from back to front) with the left foot, stepping out of the "hole." Note Arms finish in a palms-up position. Do not release the wand at any time.

WRING THE DISHRAG Position Partners stand facing each other, holding opposite hands. Movement Number one starts with the left leg and number two starts with the right leg. Each lifts the leg over the near arm and steps into the middle of the ``hole'' (formed by the arms); turn back to back while swinging the opposite arms overhead; step out of the hole with the opposite legs and end facing each other, hands still grasped.

TRUNK MOTIONS Purpose To aid one-handed throwing and striking skills (for example, racket sports forehand, backhand, and serve; baseball throw, or discus and shot put); and/or two-handed throwing or striking skills (for example, batting a softball or executing a golf drive or hammer throw). Position Assume a position at the end of the backswing for any skill listed above. Partner grasps hand(s) and resists movement while the performer turns the trunk away from the partner, making a series of gentle bouncing movements, attempting to rotate the trunk as if performing the skill. Alternate roles with the partner. Note

Avoid overstretching by too vigorous bouncing. If no partner is available, use a door frame for resistance or these sports actions can be practiced using elastic bands or inner tubes (attached to fixed objects) as resistance.

ARM & TRUNK MOTIONS Purpose To aid one-handed throwing and striking skills (for example, racket sports forehand, backhand, and serve; baseball throw, or discus and shot put); and/or two-handed throwing or striking skills (for example, batting a softball or executing a golf drive or hammer throw). Position Stand and swing the racket, club, bat, or arm with or without a weight on the implement or on the wrist. Start by swinging backward and forward rhythmically and continuously. Gradually increase the speed and vigor of the swing to finally resemble the actual skill. Note If a weight is added, swing easily to avoid torn muscles.

Flexibility - Trunk
ONE LEG STRETCHER Purpose To stretch lower back and hamstring muscles. Position Stand with one foot on a bench, keeping both legs straight. Movement Contract hamstrings and gluteals by pressing down on bench with the heel for several seconds, then relax and bend the trunk forward, trying to touch the head to the knee. Hold for three seconds. Return to starting position and repeat with opposite leg. As flexibility improves, the arms can be used to pull the chest toward the legs. Do not allow either knee to lock. Note

This is useful in relief of backache and correction of lordosis.

LEG HUG Purpose To stretch lower back and gluteals. Position Hook-lying position. Movement Contract gluteals and lumbar muscles. Lift hips. Hold for three seconds. Relax and pull knees to chest with arms as hard as possible; hold. Note Useful for backache and lordosis.

TRUNK TWISTER Purpose To stretch the trunk muscles and muscles on the outside of hip. Position Sit with right leg extended, left leg bent and crossed over the right knee. Movement Place right arm on the left side of the left leg and push against that leg while turning the trunk as far as possible to the left; place left hand on floor behind buttocks. Stretch and hold. Reverse position and repeat on opposite side.

TWO HAND ANKLE WRAP Purpose

To stretch the muscles of the arms, shoulders, back and legs. Movement Bend forward and place the arms between knees; bend knees and wrap arms around legs, attempting to touch fingers in front of ankles. Hold 10 seconds.

WAND STEP-THROUGH Position Stand; grasp wand with palms down, hands shoulder width apart. Movement (a) Bend forward and swing right leg around the outside of the right arm and over the wand (from front to back) into the ``hole'' made by the arms and wand. (b) Slide the wand around the back of the body by bringing the left arm over the head; then slide the wand under the hips and (c) step over the wand (from back to front) with the left foot, stepping out of the ``hole.'' Note Arms finish in a palms-up position. Do not release the wand at any time.

WRING THE DISHRAG Position Stand; grasp wand with palms down, hands shoulder width apart. Movement (a) Bend forward and swing right leg around the outside of the right arm and over the wand (from front to back) into the ``hole'' made by the arms and wand. (b) Slide the wand around the back of the body by bringing the left arm over the head; then slide the wand under the hips and (c) step over the wand (from back to front) with the left foot, stepping out of the ``hole.'' Note Arms finish in a palms-up position. Do not release the wand at any time.

ARM & TRUNK MOTIONS

Position Partners stand facing each other, holding opposite hands. Movement Number one starts with the left leg and number two starts with the right leg. Each lifts the leg over the near arm and steps into the middle of the ``hole'' (formed by the arms); turn back to back while swinging the opposite arms overhead; step out of the hole with the opposite legs and end facing each other, hands still grasped.

Flexibility - Lower Body 1


LOWER LEG STRETCHER Purpose To stretch the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Position Stand with the toes on a thick book or lower rung of a stall bar. Keep toes pointed straight ahead or slightly inward. Hold on to a support with the hands. Movement Rise up on toes (contract) as far as possible and hold for three seconds. Relax and lower heels to floor as far as possible; hold. Note Static stretch may alleviate spasms or cramps in calf muscles.

SITTING STRETCHER Purpose To stretch muscles on inside of thighs. Position Sit with soles of feet together; place hands on knees or ankles and lean forearms against knees; resist (contract) by attempting to raise knees. Movement

Hold three seconds; then relax and press the knees toward the floor as far as possible; hold. Note Useful for pregnant women and anyone whose thighs tend to rotate inward causing backache, knock-knees and flat feet.

ONE-LEG STRETCHER Purpose To stretch lower back and hamstring muscles. Position Stand with one foot on a bench, keeping both legs straight. Movement Contract hamstrings and gluteals by pressing down on bench with the heel for several seconds, then relax and bend the trunk forward, trying to touch the head to the knee. Hold for three seconds. Return to starting position and repeat with opposite leg. As flexibility improves, the arms can be used to pull the chest toward the legs. Do not allow either knee to lock. Note This is useful in relief of backache and correction of lordosis.

BILLIG'S EXERCISE Purpose To stretch pelvic fascia, hip flexors, and inside of thigh. Position Stand with side to a wall and place the elbow and forearm against the wall at shoulder height. Tilt the pelvis backward, tightening the gluteal and abdominal muscles. Movement Place opposite hand on hip and push the hips toward the wall. Push forward and sideward (45) with the hips. Do not twist the hips. Hold. Repeat on opposite side. Note

Useful for preventing some cases of dysmenorrhea.

HIP & THIGH STRETCHER Purpose To stretch iliopsoas and quadriceps. Position Place right knee directly above right ankle and stretch left leg backward so knee touches floor. If necessary, place hands on floor for balance. Movement Press pelvis forward and downward; hold. Repeat on opposite side. Caution: Do not bend front knee more than 90. Note Useful for those who have lordosis or lower back problems.

SHIN STRETCHER Purpose To relieve shin muscle soreness by stretching muscles on front of shin. Position Kneel on both knees, turn to right, and press down and stretch right ankle with right hand. Movement Move pelvis forward. Hold. Repeat on opposite side. Note

Except when they are sore, most people need to strengthen rather than stretch these muscles.

HAMSTRING STRETCHER Purpose To stretch the muscles on the back of the hip, thigh, knee, and ankle. Position Start in a hook-lying position. Bring right knee to chest and grasp toes with right hand. Place left hand on back of right thigh. Movement (1) Pull knee toward chest; (2) push heel toward ceiling and pull toes toward shin; (3) attempt to straighten knee. Stretch and hold. Repeat on left side.

TRUNK TWIST Purpose To stretch the trunk muscles and muscles on the outside of hip. Position Sit with right leg extended, left leg bent and crossed over the right knee. Movement Place right arm on the left side of the left leg and push against that leg while turning the trunk as far as possible to the left; place left hand on floor behind buttocks. Stretch and hold. Reverse position and repeat on opposite side.

Flexibility - Lower Body 2


QUADRICEP STRETCH Purpose To stretch the rectus femoris (two-joint muscle on front of thigh). Position Sit in widest possible side-stride position. Lean to left on elbow and bend right knee 90. Movement Place right hand on floor behind right calf and roll trunk backwards. Adjust until a pull is felt on the front of the right thigh, not on the inside of the right knee. Hold. Repeat on left leg.

LATERAL THIGH & HIP STRETCH Purpose To stretch the iliotibial band and tensor fascia lata. Position Stand with left side to wall, left arm extended and palm of hand flat on wall for support. Cross left leg behind right and turn toes of both feet out slightly. Movement Bend left knee slightly and shift pelvis toward wall (left) as trunk bends toward right. Adjust until pull is felt down outside of left hip and thigh. Hold. Repeat on other side.

SPINE TWIST Purpose To stretch trunk rotators and lateral rotators of the thighs. Position Start in hook-lying position, arms extended at shoulder level. Movement

Cross left knee over right; keep arms and shoulders on floor while touching knees to floor on left. Stretch and hold. Reverse leg position and lower knees to right.

BACK SAVER HAMSTRING STRETCH Purpose To stretch the hamstring and calf muscles. Position Sit on the floor with the feet against the wall or an immovable object. Bend left knee and bring foot close to buttocks. Clasp hands behind back. Movement Bend forward from hips, keeping lower back as straight as possible. Let bent knee rotate outward so trunk can move forward. Lean forward keeping back flat; hold and repeat on each leg.

TWO-HAND ANKLE WRAP Purpose To stretch the muscles of the arms, shoulders, back and legs. Movement Bend forward and place the arms between knees; bend knees and wrap arms around legs, attempting to touch fingers in front of ankles. Hold 10 seconds.

WAND STEP-THROUGH Position Stand; grasp wand with palms down, hands shoulder width apart. Movement (a) Bend forward and swing right leg around the outside of the right arm and over the wand (from front to back) into the ``hole'' made by the arms and wand. (b) Slide the wand around the back of the body by bringing the left arm over the head; then slide the wand under the hips and (c) step over the wand (from back to front) with the left foot, stepping out of the ``hole.''

Note Arms finish in a palms-up position. Do not release the wand at any time.

WRING THE DISHRAG Position Partners stand facing each other, holding opposite hands. Movement Number one starts with the left leg and number two starts with the right leg. Each lifts the leg over the near arm and steps into the middle of the ``hole'' (formed by the arms); turn back to back while swinging the opposite arms overhead; step out of the hole with the opposite legs and end facing each other, hands still grasped.

Assessing Flexibility
Modified Sit and Reach (Flexibility Test of Hamstrings) a. Remove shoes and assume the position for the "backsaver toe touch'', except place the sole of the foot of the extended leg flat against the box or bench seat, and place the head, back, and hips against a wall; 90 degree angle at the hips. b. Place one hand over the other and slowly reach forward as far as you can with arms fully extended; head and back remain in contact with the wall. A partner will slide the measuring stick on the bench until it touches the fingertips. c. With the measuring stick fixed in the new position, reach forward as far as possible, three times, holding the position on the third reach for at least two seconds while the partner reads the distance on the ruler. Keep the knee of the extended leg straight. d. Repeat the test a second time and average the scores of the two trials.

Zipper (Shoulder Flexibility)

a. Raise your right arm, bend your elbow, and reach down across your back as far as possible. b. At the same time, extend your left arm down and behind your back, bend your elbow up across your back, and try to cross your fingers over those of your right hand. c. Measure the distance to the nearest half-inch. If your fingers overlap, score as a plus; if they fail to meet, score as a minus; use a zero if your fingertips just touch. d. Repeat with your arms crossed in the opposite direction (left arm up). Most people will find that they are more flexible on one side than the other.

Hamstring and Hip Flexor Flexibility a. Lie on your back on the floor beside a wall. b. Slowly lift one leg off the floor. Keep the other leg flat on the floor. c. Keep both legs straight. d. Continue to lift the leg until either leg begins to bend or the lower leg begins to lift off the floor. e. Place a yardstick against the wall and underneath the lifted leg. f. Hold the yardstick against the wall after the leg is lowered. g. Measure the angle created by the floor and the yardstick using a protractor. Your score is the angle measured for each leg. The greater the angle, the better your score. h. Repeat with the other leg. Note: For ease of testing, you may want to draw angles on a piece of posterboard. If you have goniometers, you may be taught to use them instead.

Trunk Rotation (text missing)