We all know that stretching is good for us, allowing us to stay flexible and mobile throughout our lives. Despite the benefits, finding the time to get a good stretch in can be difficult for those of us with busy schedules. Below, we’ve given you a stretching routine you only need five free minutes for. Trust us, the benefits you’ll experience are definitely worth the time.
1.) Classic Hamstring Stretch
Sometimes the classics are still the best. With your feet shoulder width apart, bend down to try and reach your toes. Remember to keep a strong back, and feel the stretch in your hamstrings and glutes. Don’t worry if you can’t go all the way down, just feel comfortable and remember to breathe throughout.
2.) Door Frame Chest Stretch
If you find yourself hunching throughout the day with rounded shoulders, the door frame chest stretch is a great way to open up the chest and alleviate shoulder impingement. To perform the stretch, simply place your flat palm on the edge of a door frame. Slowly lean forward and turn your torso away from your outstretched arm until you feel the stretch. Hold this pose for 30 seconds or longer on each side.
The middle area of your spine is known as the thoracic area. To improve flexibility in this area, you’ll want to do a classic cat/cow stretch. On your hands and knees, inhale, allowing your stomach to drop towards the ground as you lift your chest high. As you exhale, imagine bringing your belly button towards your spine, allowing your back to round. Move between the two movements for as long as you’d like, holding each position for a few seconds.
4.) Pigeon Pose
If you’ve ever done any yoga, you may already be familiar with this pose. Slide down to the ground and move your right leg forward in front of your chest, bending your knee to a 45 degree angle. Your left leg should be extended behind you with both feet flat on the floor. Try to slowly bend forward, reaching for your front knee with your chest. This should be a comfortable stretch, so don’t overdo it. Repeat the pose on the other side, holding for 30 seconds or longer each time.
5.) Standing Calf Stretch
The calves can often get overlooked, but it’s important to keep them loose. With your feet staggered, keep your back leg straight as you bend your front knee. Next, place your hands against a wall and lean forward until you feel a stretch down your back leg. You can adjust your feet until you feel a comfortable stretch.
Do this stretching routine every day to maintain flexibility and mobility. If you’re interested in learning other ways to stay fit on the job, contact our ergonomics specialist today. We can help you stay active and healthy throughout your dental career.