The following are ten wall stretches, most successful in increasing enjoyment of stretching your body. These stretches involve a neutral back position which is very comfortable. While performing these exercises you don’t have to use any of the muscles to support your back. Just relax and focus on the stretch. You can also read or watch TV in this position, which may increase the amount of time you hold any stretch.
Keep this in mind: Regular flexibility training can reduce common aches and pains associated with aging and various forms of arthritis, reduce your risk of injury and help improve your posture and functioning.
1. Hamstring :
Lie on your back in an open doorway and position one leg on the wall, with your heel toward the ceiling. The other leg should be bent, with your foot on the floor. Find a position where you can feel a light stretch in the back of your thigh. To make the stretch more intense, move your buttocks closer to the wall; to make it less intense, move your buttocks farther from the wall. Hold this stretch for as long as you feel comfortable – a minimum of 30 seconds for each leg but ideally longer. Try to relax and breathe into the stretch. Feel free to read a magazine or watch TV while holding this stretch.
2. Groin :
- Lie on your back, with both legs straight up against a wall. Slowly separate your legs into a V position until you feel a light stretch through your groin area.
Hold for a minimum of 30 seconds. Feel free to hold longer.
- Sit with your back pressed against a wall. Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop toward the floor. Maintain perfect upright posture. Hold for 30 seconds or longer.
3. Hips & Back :
Lie on your back, with both legs straight up against a wall. Slowly let both legs fall to one side. Try to feel this stretch through your hips and lightly through your back. To intensify the stretch, move the top leg a few inches away from the wall but keep it straight. Hold for 30 seconds or longer, on each side.
4. Glutes :
Lie on your back, with your buttocks about a foot away from a wall. Position one leg so that the bottom of the foot is in contact with the wall and the knee is at 90-degress. Cross the other leg over so that the ankle is resting on the thigh. To make the stretch less intense, move your buttocks farther from the wall; to make it more intense, move your buttocks closer to the wall or lightly press the crossed leg toward the wall. Hold for 30 seconds or longer, on each side.
5. Quadricep :
Lie on your side, with your body straight. Bend the top knee and bring your foot toward your buttock so that you can grab your foot or ankle. Hold the stretch while pressing your hip forward and your knee slightly back. Hold for 30 seconds or longer, each side.
6. Hip Flexor :
Position yourself in a lunge position, with your front knee over the front ankle and your back knee comfortably on a mat or towel. Straighten your spine so that your posture is fully erect. Lightly press the back hip forward. Feel the stretch in the front of this thigh. To intensify the stretch, keep your body tall while you turn your upper body in toward your front knee. Hold for 30 seconds or longer, on each side.
7. Calf :
Stand facing a wall. Place one leg close to the wall and the other farther away. Keep the heel of the back leg firmly on the floor. Be sure that both feet face forward. Feel the stretch in the back calf. Hold for 30 seconds or longer. Now move the back foot in a few inches. Keep it firmly planted on the ground, but slightly bend the back knee and hold the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds or longer, on each side.
8. Wall Pushup :
Stand about three feet from a wall, feet at shoulder width and flat on the ground. Put your hands on the wall with your arms straight for support. Lean your hips forward and bend your knees slightly to stretch your calves.
9. Bicep-Wall Stretch :
Place the palm, inner elbow, and shoulder of one arm against the wall. Keeping the arm in contact with the wall, exhale and slowly turn your body around, to feel the stretch in your biceps and pectoral muscles. Adjust the hand position either higher or lower and repeat to stretch the multiple biceps and chest muscles. Switch sides.
10. Doorway Chest Stretch :
Stand directly in the middle of a single doorway. With triceps parallel to the floor, place your forearms against the inside of the doorway. Slowly step or learn forward to the furthest comfortable position, so that you feel a comfortable stretch in the chest and anterior shoulder muscles. Hold this position for at least 15-30 seconds.
You should stretch to the point of “MILD TENSION“. If you overstretch you will also cause damage. Back off if the stretch feels painful. BREATHE slowly and naturally. Do not hold your breathe while stretching. Relax the stretch. Stretch one or two more times with each stretch. Try to stretch a little further with each stretch. Again, only to the point of mild tension.