Mel is stretching her glutes and practing balance while waiting for a train.
Experiencing pain in your lower back or hips?
You are not alone and tight glutes may be one reason for this. The glutes, or gluteus maximus as they are called are basically your butt and they tend to get tight if you sit down a lot, and especially if you sit with your legs crossed. You should as often as possible stretch your glutes to open up your hips.
The standing glutes stretch might be a difficult exercise, but it’s also one of the most versatile exercises there are since it not only stretches your glutes, but at the same time includes balance in the exercise.
Stand on your left leg and place your right ankle on your left thigh. Lower yourself down as you push your hips back to a seated position. You will feel tension in the right side of your butt. You can keep your hands at your hips or help the stretch by gently pressing on the right knee. Hold the position for the desired amount of time and then switch to the other side. Remember to breathe during the stretch. If you have trouble keeping your balance you can find something to hold on to.
Try this exercise when waiting for a train or maybe when waiting for water to boil in the kitchen.
There are many reasons why you should stretch your quadriceps, the large muscles on the front of you legs. Pain in the knees, bad back, or poor posture from having spent a lot of time sitting down are just a few reasons. It’s very common to have tight quadriceps and it takes a bit of time to get them loosened up. There are several ways to stretch your quads and the lying side quad stretch is on of the easiest and most effective versions. This stretch works just as well in the bed as in the sofa in front of the TV.
Lay on your left side and place your right hand on your right ankle while flexing your left leg slightly. Tense your butt and pull your right ankle up towards your butt and at the same time gently extend your leg. Don’t pull your heel all the way up to your butt because this puts too much force on you knee instead of stretching your muscles. Hold the position for the desired amount of time and then switch to the other side. Stop if you experience pain in your knee.
An alternative is to use a towel for help. Lay face down on the bed with one leg standing on the floor. Wrap the towel around your ankle and pull above your head. This version reduces the strain on your knees and is to be preferred. If you can reach you can use your hand to pull instead of a towel.
You can also do the good old standing up quad stretch but it’s not as effective as the ones where you lay down. If you do a standing quad stretch, lean forward to get a good angle on the stretched leg and avoid injuring your knees. Use the opposite hand to hold the foot to deepen the stretch.
Nel is doing a seated side stretch to loosen some tension she has built up after having been stuck in an office chair all day.
The purpose of the side stretch is to target the muscles between the ribs and the hip, which can get tensed after having spent a lot of time sitting down, or slept on a too soft madras. Another reason can be that one of your legs are slightly shorter than the other. This is an easy stretch exercise you can do both standing up and sitting down.
Sit straight and tense your abs slightly. Raise your right arm above your head and slowly lean to the left until you feel tension on your side. It’s ok to bend your arm to get deeper into the stretch. Don’t lift your butt from the chair or lean forward or backward. Hold the position for the desired amount of time and then switch to the other side.
You can also do this the side stretch while standing up. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and raise your right arm above your left and slowly lean into the stretch. Hold the position for the desired amount of time and then switch to the other side.