Stretch of the Week (4) doesn’t appear to have reached some of you. Maybe this week might just see a double whammy of stretching as you play catch up, check out the Hamstring stretches too!! Glutes this week, here goes……
1. Can you sit cross legged?
Sit on the floor with your legs crossed, sit nice and tall and breathe steadily and deeply. Stretch forward and walk your hands along the floor – return to seated position. Do this 3 – 4 times, each time trying to reach a little further forwards. Cross your legs over the opposite way to your first attempt (which was probably your most comfortable) – try the stretch again.
2. Glute stretch
Lie flat on the floor, bend your right knee and bring your heel close to your bum. Take your left ankle and rest across the bent leg, close to your knee – this should create a triangle (of sorts!) with your left leg. You may well feel this gives you enough of a stretch but if you want to go to the next step, lift your right leg away from the floor and hold the back of your right thigh for some stability. If you flex your right leg upwards and in towards you, this will also increase the stretch.
Swap to the other side……
3. Pigeon Stretch
a) Angle your right shin under your torso and bring your right foot to the front of your left knee. Bend your front knee as much as you need to so that it feels comfortable and not tight or tense. It’s important to protect your knee to prevent irritating the joint – it shouldn’t feel painful at all. As you continue to practice this pose, you will be able to bring your shin more parallel but from the outset take care with this.
b) Slide your left leg back behind you. Straighten it and let the front of your thigh sit on the floor. Press all your toes of your back foot onto the mat.
c) Place your hands about shoulder width apart on the floor just in front of your hips, inhale and rise up on your fingertips a touch whilst pressing your tailbone down.
This may provide you with enough of a stretch if your hips aren’t used to being flexed – don’t push it, be patient and build up slowly.
d) If you are comfortable with this stretch, you can increase further by exhaling and stretch your arms out in front of you to move towards lying down over your front/bent leg. Only lower to a point that is comfortable for your hips. You will be giving them a deep stretch.
Focus on placing equal weight on both hips and keeping your spine long.
Swap to the other leg!