Day 18: Do 2 Wall Sits, Cat-Cow Pose and Hamstring Stretch

The only thing that comes close to slowing down time as much as a plank is a wall sit. Luckily we only need to do 2 of these today!

For today we have...

  • Complete 2 Wall Sits, holding this pose for 15 seconds each time, and resting for 10 seconds between each set.
  • Do the Cat-Cow pose for 5 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening.
  • Do the Hamstring Stretch twice on both legs, holding the stretch for 20 second each.

Wall Sit exercises work out your entire body. Your muscles, bones, spine, shoulder blades will be strengthened through this exercise. Wall sits also help keep your spine straight and elongated.

How To Do Wall Sits 

  1. Start by placing your back flat against the wall.
  2. Your feet should be firmly on the ground about 2 inches away from the wall and shoulder-length apart.
  3. Slowly slide your back down the wall until your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Move your feet out to help your knees make this 90-degree angle. Your knees need to be above your ankles, not in front of them. Make sure your weight is in your heels.
  4. Take deep, slow breaths and hold this position for 10 seconds. Then slowly stand up and rest for 10 seconds. Do not slide down the wall as you could injure your knees.
  5. Repeat this twice.

Wall Sit Alternative #1: Half Wall Sit

To decrease the intensity of the exercise, don’t slide down the wall as far. Instead slide down until your knees are at a 45-degree. 

Wall Sit Alternative #2: Exercise Ball Wall Sit

To make the exercise more comfortable, place an exercise ball between you and the wall and rest your back on it. Make sure your knees are still at an angle in which they don’t extend beyond the ankles. 

Wall Sit Alternative #3: Less-Time Wall Sit

If holding this pose for 10-15 second is too long, scale back the time and slowly build up to the suggested time as you get stronger.

How To Do Cat-Cow Pose 

  1. Begin on all fours, in a tabletop position. 
  2. Spread your fingers on the ground and keep your neck neutral to improve your stability.
  3. While you exhale out your mouth, start the cat pose by pushing your spine toward the ceiling, tucking in your tailbone, and pushing your pubic bone forward. This looks like a Halloween cat!
  4. As you inhale through your nose, you want to release your head toward the floor gently, pushing your pelvis out so your belly is dropped to the floor. And lift your chest and chin, so you are looking up at the ceiling.
  5. Continue doing this pose for 5 minutes, remembering to breathe in deeply as you look at the ceiling and exhale as much air as you can as you look at the ground. Move through this pose slowly and with purpose to get the most out of this exercise.

Cat-Cow Pose

Cow-Cow Alternative #1: Sore Knees

Knees bothering you when you execute this pose? Roll a towel or blanket for you to kneel on. 

Cat-Cow Alternative #2: Wrist Rest

Wrists hurt to have at a 90-degree angle for this pose? Put your hands in a fist and rest on your fists.

Cat-Cow Alternative #3: Chair

Feeling too much pressure being on your hands and knees? Do this pose in a chair.

  1. Sit in your chair with your feet placed hip width apart on the floor in front of you. 
  2. Have your knees at a 90-degree angle and sit up straight.
  3. Lightly, place your hands on your thighs (as you go through these movements leave your hands there).
  4. Inhale and slowly arch your back, tilt your pelvis forward a bit, gently look up towards the ceiling.
  5. Do not overextend your neck.
  6. Make sure your neck is relaxed and moving slowly.
  7. Roll your shoulders back and away from your ears.
  8. Exhale and slowly round your back, tilt your pelvis back towards the back of your chair, and draw your belly button in.
  9. Curve your shoulders forward and look down towards the ground.

Hamstring Stretch

The Hamstring Stretch helps not only give flexibility to your hamstrings, but also releases tension on the lower back. 

How to do the Hamstring Stretch

  1. Lie on your back with your legs stretched out. 
  2. Take a stretch strap or towel and put the middle of it on the arch of your right foot.
  3. Keeping your left leg flat on the ground, slowly lift your right leg up and over your hips.
  4. Keep your right leg as straight as you can without locking the knee.
  5. Hold in position for 20 seconds. Then switch legs. 

Alternative #1: Half Hamstring Stretch

If you cannot get your foot over your hips, lift the leg to where you can. As you continue to do this stretch and practice try to get your leg closer and closer to being over your hips, but don’t push yourself.

Recommended
Blue RangeMaster Stretch Strap

RangeMaster Stretch Strap

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Gentle, prolonged stretches are simplified with the RangeMaster® Stretch Strap. Six feet of durable nylon webbing is complemented with tough elastic loops stitched in that provide anchoring position for feet and/or hands. The one-inch-wide strap comes with several exercise routines in a user guide.

The greatest feature of the RangeMaster Stretch Strap is the 'center loop' making it easy to find stretching balance!

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