Saturday, 28 April 2018

Stretching Routine

I've been doing my stretches for quite a while now, and I thought that I would share these with you. These stretches were developed over several sessions with my Physiotherapist, having observed how I walk and following discussions about what I find difficult to do. They fit also in well with my other health activities - weekly Pilates, cycling a few times a week and walking around during the day.

I've a picture of me doing each of my stretches, followed by a few notes about each one. These are given in the order that I do these in.

Hamstring Stretch

When I do this stretch I focus on keeping both legs as straight as possible, and I try to keep the foot on the floor pointing forward, although of course having it at an angle helps with balance. Reaching forward to touch my toes isn't necessary for the stretch, I use this to measure how much movement I have - some days I can reach my toes, and others I cannot. I do each leg for 20-30s, and then repeat.

Adductor Stretch

On this stretch I also focus on keeping each leg as straight as possible, and I also try to keep my body upright as well. I find this a bit tricky to get into this position, so I am often using the wall to help. I do each leg for 20-30s. I get my second stretch of these muscles a bit later on.

Calf Stretch - part 1

For this stretch I try to keep my legs straight, and in line with my body, like a plank. I also focus on keeping my heels on the ground to get the stretch. I vary the stretch slightly with the distance between my feet and the wall. This gets both legs done for the first time in one stretch for 20-30s.

Calf Stretch - part 2

For this stretch I have one foot in the same position as part 1, and bring the other foot forward. I aim to keep both heels on the ground, and try to keep the plank for the rear leg and my body, although I also adjust the front knee so that I get a similar stretch on both legs. I do this stretch with each leg forward once for 20-30s.

Calf and Adductor

For this stretch I try to get the second stretch on the part2 calf muscles and on my adductors. This stretch is a squat. I am focusing on keeping my feet parallel, my heels on the ground and my body upright to get the calf stretch, and I focus on keeping my lower leg vertical and my knees far apart to get the adductor stretch. I hold this stretch for 20-30s, and some days I will do this one twice.

Hip Flexors

For this stretch I focus on keeping my knees close together, and my body upright. I do this once on each leg for 20-30s.


This is how I finish my stretches. It is a move that I learnt at Pilates, and I use it to improve my spine flexibility. The focus is on the spine, so I my knees are slightly bent. Again, I am using the distance between fingers and toes as the measure of the stretch. I've not yet touched my toes! I do three roll downs and hold each one for a few seconds.


This is a quick overview of my stretches. I generally do these twice a day. Since I have been measuring the time using fitbit I can report that I actually do 10-12 sets of stretches per week, with the most likely omissions being Saturday and Sunday mornings. I count each stretch rather than measure each one with a clock, so the 20-30s is a bit variable. In total my stretches take between about 6 and 11 minutes to do.

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