#23 Great Stretches

Stretching is incredibly important quite a few people reached out after reading my stretching after hot baths article.   Below is a collection of stretches I gathered over time.

This first one below is great a great one for over head work.  This can be done with a regular stick, pvc pipe.  Please pay attention to the position of the feet and how this plays in with being able to put more force/weight in to the stretch.

Below is a distracted hamstring stretch.  

This stretch below is great for the pecs and opening the chest.   I usually do this stretch with a partner to but it can be done with plates as it is shown in picture.  I basically interlock fingers behind my head and get in to kneeling position and ask my partner to pull my elbows back.  If I do not have a partner I do it by laying down in prone position with plates on each side.  I slowly place my elbows on the plates and lean forward.  

The stretch below is a modified pigeon yoga position.  This can be with floor sliders to give this stretch a nice smooth kinetic element.   You can slowly slide deeper and deeper in to the stretch.  I sometimes do this with light dumbbells in my hand to get deeper in to the stretch.

In previous articles, I discussed how important the heel stretches are since they make up for many deficiencies in other areas of the body during lifts.   I use a slanted board for balancing and building feet muscles but slanted boards are also a great tool for stretching the ankles.  If you do stretches on slanged boards in plank position, this enables you to in to deeper ranges during with this stretch.

This stretch below is an other good one for overhead movements and upper body mobility.  Using a stability ball makes this stretch a little smoother and gives you better control with this stretch.

The stretch below is a modified butter fly stretch.  This is great for hips and shoulders.

In previous articles I wrote about how important inverted poses are and how it helps with lymph drainage.  I briefly discussed how this this can help immunity and recovery of athletes.  Band are a great tool for inverted positions and this can help with decompressing the spine and also help with opening the hips.  Antigravity yoga uses yogi asanas similar to this and that is also another great thing to look in to for those who want to take these inverted poses to a whole new level.