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Stretching is one of the most important components of any exercise
regime. It is the lengthening of body muscles to increase blood
circulation and oxygen supply to various parts of the body. It is not
only great for athletes and sportspersons such as bodybuilders,
weightlifters, power lifters, runners, football players, golfers etc.
but also has a number of advantages for ordinary individuals. Stretching
exercises can be performed anywhere and at any point during the day in
order to de-stress the body and enhance joint flexibility. Most
stretches can be performed conveniently, whether you are at your office
or at home and require minimal time. For promoting the overall wellbeing
of the body, you must perform 20 minutes of stretching exercises, at
least 3 times a week.
There are various exercises that have been developed in order to strengthen various muscle groups such as neck stretching,
back stretching, leg stretching, shoulder stretching etc. Before
performing any of these exercises it is essential for you to consult a
registered health care practitioner in order to determine if these
stretches can be performed by you or not, particularly, if you are
suffering from any ailments such as back pain, neck or shoulder pain or
are recovering from an injury.
It is also necessary that you take proper guidance from a certified
trainer before performing any of these exercises in order to be able to
apply the right techniques. Performing these exercises in the wrong
manner increases the risk of injury and you may not benefit from them at
all. If you are following any video, you must watch each demonstration
carefully prior to performing them all by yourself.
Neck Stretching and you:
The neck and shoulder muscles work persistently and are
subjected to a lot of strain, particularly, if you have to spend endless
hours at your desk or in front of a computer. It is essential to
increase the body’s flexibility and release tension. Stretching
exercises reduce neck stiffness and muscular fatigue. They also promote
good posture and balance. However, it is essential to understand that
the neck is a very sensitive part of the body; therefore you must
perform neck stretches with great care and avoid overstretching and
bouncing or jerking while stretching.
Head forward stretch: This stretch helps enhance the
flexibility of your body and maintains the mobility of the joints. It
helps promote maximum range of motion of the neck and back muscles. Sit
straight on a chair and place both palms on the forehead. Apply pressure
towards the palms while keeping them stationary. You will feel the
stretch in the neck. Hold for 12 to 15 seconds and release.
Shoulder Stretch: This is one of the best ways by means of
which you can exercise your deltoids. Stress builds tension in the
muscles which can be relieved through stretching exercises. Muscular
tension can cause headache, stiff neck, muscular soreness and a stiff
back. Stand up straight with your shoulders and back absolutely relaxed.
Hold your hands behind your lower back and try lifting them in this
position. Make sure that your elbows are absolutely straight. Your hands
must move backwards from your body. Hold the stretch for 12 to 15
seconds and then release.
Anterior Deltoid Stretch: This is an excellent way to
exercise the front part of your shoulders. The anterior deltoid enables
you to raise your arms to the front and the lateral deltoid helps you in
raising them to the sides. Stand absolutely straight with your feet hip
width apart. Holding by the wrist, take your right arm behind you and
gently ease it behind the back. The stretch should be felt at the front
of your shoulder. Hold the stretch for 12 to 15 seconds and release.