5 stretches to get you through those long shifts
Personal Trainer Pawel Zerebiecki shares five great moves to help you get through those long shifts.
You can follow Pawel doing these stretches in the video below.
Cat cow spine mobility
The cat cow stretch is designed to release the tension around the spine. Start on hands and knees and as you inhale, lower your back to stretch it out, and gently raise your head. As you exhale, round and raise your back, and lower your head. It is important to ensure you are stretching, but not pushing yourself too hard. As you do a few, you will find your flexibility increase.
Childs pose to plank
Starting on your knees and lowering your body face down to the ground with your arms outstretched. You can then extend yourself towards your hands, whilst they stay where they are on the ground and lift yourself into a plank position. Ensure to move slowly and controlled and engage your core as you lift. Then lower back down on to your knees and into your original position. Again, it is important to do this multiple times to reduce tension in and around your spine and core.
Lunge into spine twist
Start on your knees and step one foot forward, as if you were lunging. From this position, place your opposite hand on the ground next to your foot, roughly shoulder width apart. Using your other arm, lower your elbow to the ground and then stretch it up to the ceiling, opening up your chest and inhaling. Hold for a bit, then as you bring your arm back down, exhale and relax. It’s really important that your shoulders to your knees remain straight and you feel it stretch your hip flexors also.
This stretch has many benefits, including increasing lung capacity. I would recommend doing this multiple times, but always in a slow and controlled manner.
Hip flexor into hamstring stretch.
As your hip flexors are starting to stretch out, it is important to continue to gain as much movement in these areas as there are many benefits to increasing this flexibility of this area.
Start on one knee, right foot forward with your foot slightly in front of your knee. Ensure your hips are square by bringing your left hip forward. Keep your head and chest upright. From this starting point, move your hips directly forward, inhale, and squeeze your glutes to feel the stretch, and hold for a few seconds.
Then moving your hips back, extending your right leg to straight, and leaning forward to feel the stretch in your hamstring. In this motion, exhale and hold for a few seconds. If you want to get more out of this stretch, pull your toes up, and bring your head down to your knee.
It is important to keep your hands on the ground to ensure you remain balanced and protect overstretching.
Do this a few times until you feel you are getting more range of motion, and then switch sides and repeat.
Quadriceps wall stretch
There are multiple ways to stretch out your quads so make sure you do what is comfortable for you. This starting position is similar to the hip flexor stretch starting on one knee, right foot forward with your foot slightly in front of your knee. The variation on this stretch is that your back foot is lifted up and against the wall, while you face away from the wall. The closer your knee is to the wall, the more it will stretch your quads so start where you are most comfortable and move backwards (closer to the wall) as you stretch it further.
From this starting point, breath in, keep your back straight and move your hips and back, backwards towards the wall. You can also bring your arms up to really open up your chest and get the most out of the stretch.
After a few seconds hold, exhale and move your hips back forward.
Do this a few times. As you are gaining range of motion, move your knee closer to the wall, and then switch sides and repeat.
This article was written in partnership with FitFinder, the first marketplace for all health and fitness instructors.
If you would like to learn more about how to take care of your body, need help with your stretching or want to organise a full session with Pawel, simply go to: https://www.fitfinder.com.au/trainer/business-class-pt
For your first session, use the code: Nurse50 to receive $50 off your first session to give it a try!