4 STRETCHING EXERCISES WITH A STRAP

Postural stretching is a training method that stretches the muscles. If applied regularly, it maintains muscular quality, increases suppleness and general improves your capacity for movement.

It is also an excellent way of avoiding injuries, cramp and other muscular and articulatory traumas. It is usually practised after a sports session to improve recovery, relax and diminish the sensation of fatigue.

COACH'S TIPS

WHEN TO DO STRETCHING EXERCISES

We recommend these stretching exercises after a sports session, (in particular activities to build up the thighs, abdominals and buttocks), or when you want to gently stretch your body. Stretching after exercise is a good way to become more supple. The stretching movements relax and elongate the muscles, so that they return to their original length, and restore the mobility of your articulations. You become more flexible, while relaxing at the same time.

 

WHAT EQUIPMENT SHOULD YOU USE?

These stretching exercises are performed with a yoga strap and a floor mat. Using the strap will make you more supple and will help you to adopt the right posture.

 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

You should make these stretching movements for 5 to 10 minutes, three times a week. The longer you stretch (1 to 5 minutes), the more you will gain in amplitude and suppleness.

 

ARE THERE ANY CONTRA-INDICATIONS?

Anyone can do these stretching exercises*. But take care to stretch yourself gradually, without ever reaching the pain threshold.

 

EXERCISE 1: STRETCHING THE SHOULDERS AND CHEST

-Targeted muscles: shoulders and chest.

-Performing the exercise: start the exercise with the strap in your hands behind your back. Breathe in, while bringing your right arm to the vertical position. Move your left arm downwards behind your back. Repeat the exercise on each side.

-Breathing: smooth, continuous and natural, through the stomach.

-Safety tips: remember to tighten your tummy muscles, prefer self-extension (elongation of the spine) and keep your knees supple.

-Repetitions: remain in position for several breathing cycles of 30 seconds to 1 minute, then change sides.

EXERCISE 2: STRETCHING THE HIP MUSCLES

-Targeted muscles: glutes, hamstrings, adductors.

-Performing the exercise: with your knees bent and your head lowered (with your torso close to your legs), relax your upper body. The middle of the strap is held under your feet. Breathe in while elongating the body (the head-back-buttocks line).

-Breathing: smooth, continuous and natural, through the stomach.

-Safety tips: respect the alignment of your body.

-Repetitions: remain in position for several breathing cycles of 30 seconds to 1 minute.

 

Variations:

Easy option: keep your knees bent.

Difficult option: straighten your legs.

 

EXERCISE 3: STRETCHING THE HIP AND CALF MUSCLES

Targeted muscles: glutes, hamstrings, adductors and calves.

Performing the exercise: start the exercise with both legs on the floor. Pass the strap under the sole of your right foot, with your toes pointing towards you. Breathe in, breathe out, then pull on the strap to raise your right leg.

Breathing: smooth, continuous and natural, through the stomach.

Safety tips: keep your back nice and straight throughout the exercise.

Repetitions: remain in position for several breathing cycles of 30 seconds to 1 minute, then change sides.

EXERCISE 4: STRETCHING THE TRICEPS AND TRAPEZIUS MUSCLES

Targeted muscles: triceps and trapezius muscles.

Performing the exercise: in the seated position (cross-legged or otherwise), start the exercise with the strap in your hands behind your back. Breathe in, while raising your right arm above your head. Your left arm is bent behind your back. Breathe out, while pulling the strap upwards to stretch the trapezius muscle. Then breathe in and return to your starting position. Breathe out and pull the strap downwards to stretch the triceps.

Breathing: smooth, continuous and natural, through the stomach.

Safety tips: keep your back nice and straight throughout the exercise.

Repetitions: remain in position for several breathing cycles of 30 seconds to 1 minute, then change sides.

Useful tip: if you cannot keep your back straight in the seated position, slip a yoga brick under your buttocks.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Advice
There are many types of yoga, each with their own specific needs and considerations. Follow our advice to choose the right mat that will fit your needs.
Advice
yoga illustration
There are many types of yoga practices, each with their own specific needs and considerations. Follow our tips to choose the right outfit for your yoga practice.
Advice
You do it for pleasure, or sometimes to stay in shape, but do you know the other ways in which sport benefits your body? Osteopath Caroline Bonnière told us how sport prevents certain problems. Muscle load helps to make our bones denser, as described below.
Advice
Yoga is one of those hidden treasures that make up part of the daily routines of thousands of people throughout the world. Since it first appeared in the Indus Valley, almost 5000 years ago, it has constantly been spawning new disciplines. Nowadays there is an impressive range of different methods. There's bound to be a type of yoga that's just your cup of tea!
Advice
If you tend to fall over or lose your balance, this article is just what you need! It explains how to master your agility and improve your sense of balance through these simple and effective exercises.
HAUT DE PAGE