Basic Full Body Stretch

This is a [Other] pattern from www.turnstep.com. (pattern 2979)

  1. Lay face down on floor, arms at side, face turned to left.
  2. Turn body onto right side, extend right arm along floor, rest head on (right) arm, bend knees slightly and fold top (left) leg back so that left foot is in left hand. Lift knee and thigh as one unit, so that front of thigh (quadriceps) is fully stretched. Hold for count of 10-20 beats.
  3. Release leg, and roll slowly to face down position.
  4. Turn body to left side, extend left arm along floor, rest head on (left) arm, bend knees slightly and fold top (right leg back so that right foot is in right hand. Lift knee and thigh (again as one unit), so that front of thigh is fully stretched. Hold for count of 10-20 beats, then return to face down position.
  5. From stomach - caution participants to keep pelvis on the floor (a good cue for women is to keep the "bikini" line on the floor - men seem to understand that one, too). Draw hands in to body, directly beneath shoulder blades, and press up. Chest and shoulders are lifted to stretch lower back. Hold for count of 20 beats, release and repeat.
  6. From stomach - press up onto "all four" (hands and knees). Take a big breath in, let back arch up. Exhale, and back flattens (this inhale/exhale combination is called a "Cat Stretch"). Repeat 3-4 times.
  7. Breathing normally, bring right heel even with left knee (foot is flat on the floor). Gently apply chest to right knee - you should feel the stretch in the right Achilles tendon (back of the ankle). Repeat with left heel.
  8. Release stretch (#7), place both hands on bent knee, and press body up to standing position.
  9. With legs wide, and feet pointing to outside, take a big breath up (use arms). Exhale with hands descending out and slightly behind body.
  10. Repeat inhale, hold at top. Lace fingers and turn palms to ceiling, press joined hands slightly to rear of body, and hold for count of ten.
  11. Bring hands forward of body (fingers remain laced) and hold for count of ten.
  12. Inhale again (fingers still laced), then open hands and arms, expanding out and down.

Over the years, we've all learned the importance of stretching, but we often fail to do it effectively. If you're working with a 30-55 year old group, you've probably already noticed a lot of non-aerobic related grunting. This pattern won't eliminate it entirely, but you won't have to buy stock in Ben-gay either!

This pattern works best when done slowly, with steady, balance-oriented movement. Music can be as slow as 98 BPM or as fast as 120 BPM - play with it and see what works best for you and yours.

I've been teaching for more than 15 years, and I swear by this one.


Added by Gail McFarland at 11:07 AM on Monday, August 10, 1998 EDT. Add to favorites (view favorites)
(Email: Gail.McFarland@gsa.gov)
From: Atlanta, Georgia (USA)
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