Ok, now things are starting to heat up. Let's push through it!
- Hold 5 Locust poses for 10 seconds each.
- Do Cat-Cow Pose for 5 minutes in the morning and evening.
- In the morning and evening, do Chest Stretches for 2 minutes each time.
- Do Knee-To-Chest Stretches twice on both legs, hold for 20 seconds each.
How To Do Locusts
- Lie on your stomach, with your arms placed near the sides of your body and your hands close to your hips.
- Relax and rest your forehead on the ground or turned to one side. Make sure to relax your neck.
- Inhale slowly and deeply. As you exhale, lift your head, chest, arms, and legs off the ground. You need to keep your legs straight and together. Your arms should be parallel to the ground.
- Either look straight ahead or keep your head down. You want to keep tension out of your neck, so do what feels comfortable.
- Hold this pose for 10 seconds and repeat it twice.
Alternative #1: Half Locust
If this pose is not accessible to you, try executing the pose by leaving your legs and feet on the ground. Inhale slowly and deeply. As you exhale, raise your head, shoulders, and arms up to the point where your lower back muscles are activated.
Alternative #2: Locust Opposite Arm and Leg Lift
Another variation is to activate your core muscles and lift your head and chest. Inhale slowly and deeply. As you exhale, lift your left arm and your right leg. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then switch and lift your right arm and your left leg.
How To Do Cat-Cow Pose
- Begin on all fours, in a tabletop position.
- Spread your fingers on the ground and keep your neck neutral to improve your stability.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- Sit in your chair with your feet placed hip width apart on the floor in front of you.
- Have your knees at a 90-degree angle and sit up straight.
- Lightly, place your hands on your thighs (as you go through these movements leave your hands there).
- Inhale and slowly arch your back, tilt your pelvis forward a bit, gently look up towards the ceiling.
- Do not overextend your neck.
- Make sure your neck is relaxed and moving slowly.
- Roll your shoulders back and away from your ears.
- Exhale and slowly round your back, tilt your pelvis back towards the back of your chair, and draw your belly button in.
- Curve your shoulders forward and look down towards the ground.
How To Do Chest Stretches
- Stand up straight.
- Reach your arms behind you and interlace your fingers, so your hands are joined.
- Keep your neck neutral, and your eyes focused forward.
- Lift your chest toward the ceiling while taking deep breaths.
- Repeat this exercise for 5 minutes in the morning and evening.
Alternative #1: Stretch Strap Assistance
If you can’t interlace your fingers, take a stretch strap or a towel in one hand, reach behind you with your hands, grab the other side of the stretch strap with your other hand and stretch that way.
RangeMaster Stretch Strap
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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!
Alternative #2: Half Chest Stretch
No strap or towel? Just reach back with your hands and bring them as close together as you can.
The Knee-To-Chest Stretch helps release tension on the lower back and helps increase the flexibility of the back and hips. It’s great to stretch out after a long period of sitting or standing.
How to do the Knee-To-Chest Stretch
- Lie on your back with your legs stretched out. Flex your left leg and bend your right knee and bring it towards your chest.
- Place both hands just below your right kneecap.
- Gently pull the knee into your chest, until you feel a good stretch in your lower back.
- Hold for 15-20 seconds. Repeat on your left side.
Alternative #1: Bent Knee Variation
If you cannot straighten your opposite leg, then lie on your back and have your feet on the ground with your knees pointing upward. Then bring your right knee towards your chest.
Alternative #2: Stretch Strap Assistance
If this is not accessible to you, take a stretch strap or towel and place it behind your knee. Grab the ends of the strap or towel with your hands. Gently pull your knee towards your chest until you start to feel a stretch on your lower back.