3 Tips Chiropractic Patients Can Use To Increase Flexibility

chiropractic and flexibilityFlexibility is something that many people would like more of, but few know how to achieve it. If they do, they don’t do anything about it. This is because flexibility training is often seen as difficult, painful, and time consuming. It is also significantly underestimated. Why bother getting flexible if you aren’t an athlete or dancer? Why do regular people need to improve their flexibility? The answers to these questions may surprise you. You also might find that improving your flexibility is easier than you think.

Why is flexibility important?

Flexibility is a key component of keeping your body fit and healthy. Research shows that people who are more flexible are better able to reach their optimum fitness level.

It can also help to prevent injury and reduce your risk of conditions like arthritis and other chronic diseases. They also have a better range of motion and mobility as they age.

Muscles that are flexible have the potential to become stronger. This can help increase metabolism and improve fitness level.

A body that is more flexible can also carry out day to day activities easier and have less chance of injury. Blood flow is increased and circulation is improved which also helps to prevent chronic conditions like kidney disease and diabetes as well as heart disease.

Stretch for upper body flexibility

This upper body stretch also helps improve your posture. It is also great if you are largely sedentary throughout the day, such as sitting at a desk for extended periods.

  • Stand or sit in a chair, back straight, chin level, feel slightly apart and knees soft.
  • Put your hands behind your head, elbows out, chin tucked.
  • Gently press your head forward to feel the stretch through your neck, shoulders, and upper back; hold for five seconds.
  • Tilt your head back so that your chin is pointing toward the ceiling. Place the heels of your hands on your forehead and gently press to get a stretch through the front of the neck and the arms; hold for five seconds.
  • Bring your head to the start position, chin parallel to the floor, neck straight.
  • Put your right hand on the top of your head and gently press as if you are trying to touch your right ear to your right shoulder and feel the stretch along the left side of the neck and shoulder; hold for five seconds.
  • Put your left hand on the top of your head and gently press as if you are trying to touch your left ear to your left shoulder and feel the stretch along the right side of the neck and shoulder; hold for five seconds.
  • Raise your hands over your head and clasp your hands. Stretch and lift your body, lengthening your spine.
  • Release your hands and bend to the right, using your right hand to grasp your left elbow and gently pull it to the right. Hold for five seconds.
  • Raise your hands over your head and clasp your hands. Stretch and lift your body, lengthening your spine.
  • Release your hands and bend to the left, using your left hand to grasp your right elbow and gently pull it to the left. Hold for five seconds.

Stretch for lower body flexibility

This is a great stretch for women who wear high heels or for cyclists and people who walk, run, or use an elliptical machine.

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you, feet together, knees soft, and back straight.
  • Slowly bend your right knee and lean back if necessary, using your right arm as a support behind you. Place your left hand under your left knee and flex your toes toward the ceiling, feeling the stretch through your calf. Hold for five seconds.
  • Stretch both legs out straight in front of you.
  • Slowly bend your left knee and lean back if necessary, using your left arm as a support behind you. Place your right hand under your right knee and flex your toes toward the ceiling, feeling the stretch through your calf. Hold for five seconds.
  • Roll onto your back with your knees bent toward the ceiling and feet flat on the floor.
  • Gently bring your right knee to your chest, holding it with your hands to get a nice stretch. Hold for five minutes.
  • Return to the start position, on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Gently bring your left knee to your chest, holding it with your hands to get a nice stretch. Hold for five minutes.
  • Return to the start position, on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Stretch for flexibility in the back

This stretch is very good for low back pain.

  • Lie on your stomach keeping your legs straight, knees soft, and feet shoulder width apart.
  • Place your hands under your shoulders, palms down on the floor and push your upper body up so that your back is curved with your lower body still on the floor. Tilt your head back for more stretch. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Lower your upper body back to the mat and slowly roll over to your hands and knees.
  • Keep your knees shoulder width apart and your back straight.
  • While on your hands and knees, tuck your chin and round out your back, pushing it towards the ceiling, feel the stretch through your entire back. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Return to the start position with your knees shoulder width apart and your back straight.
  • While on your hands and knees, lift your chin, stretching it upwards and drop your back so that your spine curves toward the floor. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Return to the start position with your knees shoulder width apart and your back straight.

This article is copyrighted by Blogging Chiros LLC for its Doctor of Chiropractic members and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Blogging Chiros, LLC.