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Stretching - Back, Chest, Quadriceps, Hamstrings and Groin



Have a look at some of the articles published in previous issues of BetterU News...

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Introduction to Stretching...Back, Chest, Quads, Hamstrings, Groin

Home -> The Library -> Stretching 1

Back Stretches

1. Hold onto a rail, pole, bar, etc., with one hand. Rotate your body inwards towards that hand then allow your weight to fall backwards.

  • You can adjust where the stretch affects in your back by standing more upright or bending over more.
  • Staying more upright will target the upper/middle back while leaning over will hit the lower side and back area.

2. Grab onto something solid with one hand (e.g. a pole or railing or bar). Put the same side foot or the opposing foot on the pole below your hand, then push backward with your leg as though trying to pull your arm out of the socket. Hold on tight and maintain tension in the shoulder.

A good back stretch.

3. Hold onto something in front of you. Bend over at the waist (about 90 degrees) and stretch downward, keeping your arm straight and your hands on the solid surface.

4. Be careful of twisting stretches in the lower back area. If you do them, go slow and DO NOT force it. This is a very sensitive position for the lower back and severe injury can result.


Chest Stretches

1. Stand beside a vertical pole or wall with your arm straight out to the side and holding on. Bend your elbow slightly then rotate your body away from your hand. Keep your shoulder back and your chest puffed out.

2. Stand or sit with your back to a horizontal bar (a bench press bar setup works well for this stretch). Grasp the bar behind your back, just outside shoulder-width grip with palms down and fingers pointing back, then push forward allowing your shoulders and chest to stretch back.

  • As you are doing this stretch try and look up, raising your head and push forward hard.
  • Vary the grip between pronated and supinated (palms up and palms down) and repeat.
  • When doing this one, keep your mouth closed to get a better stretch on the upper chest (it sounds strange but it works). Keeping your mouth closed transfers more stretch through the neck and down to the upper chest.
A good chest stretch.

3. Hold two high pulleys, bend over and rotate your shoulders so your arms are behind your back. Try going down on your knees. This is similar to having somebody try to force your elbows behind your back. This also gives you a bicep and shoulder stretch.


Quadricep Stretches

1. Kneel on the floor on one knee then lean back somewhat, pushing your stretching-side hip forward and leaning your upper body back. You should feel it from your hip flexors right down to your lower quads.

  • To vary the stretch a little, laterally rotate your back foot (out to the side) so your heel points out to the side more.
  • You should keep your back leg up on the toes to increase the stretch on the quads.

2. Do not do the traditional grab the foot behind the body stretch for quads. This can hyperextend the knee. Instead, rest the top of one foot on a bench or railing or anything a few feet off the ground and lunge forward and down, keeping your torso vertical. Maintain tension in the quads and donít lean back. This is a safer and easier way to stretch the same muscle.

Hamstring and Groin Stretches

1. Touch your toes from a standing position. Keep your knees slightly bent to prevent lower back strain. Try crossing your feet as well.

2. Put your foot up on a bench or raised surface that you are standing in front of (the Smith machine bar works well for this because it is adjustable in height). Lean over and try to touch or grab your foot.

  • This can be done to the side or straight forward.
  • To get a bit of extra stretch in the calves, hook your toes back towards your body.

3. Do the splits out to the sides to stretch out your groin. Rest your arms on a bench or chair so you can pull yourself up easily. Try to completely relax your quads while doing this.

4. Lying flat of the ground or standing, pull one leg up into your chest to stretch out the hamstrings and glutes. Hold underneath the back of the thigh, not over the top of the knee to prevent knee hyperextension.

Stretches for the Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Calves and Glutes
Click Here for Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps,
Calves and Glute Stretches


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