The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly affected how we live our lives, including how much time we spend at home. Many people are not getting as much exercise as they did before the pandemic, and being home so much often leads to spending much more time sitting down than usual.
It is important to stay fit and flexible, so we have compiled a list of three stretches that can be done anywhere. You can use these stretches on their own or add them to your workouts as a warmup or cooldown – or both.
1. Distal hamstring stretch
This stretch helps reduce the tightness in your lower hamstring and upper calf.
Lie down on your back on a yoga mat. Loop a yoga strap, resistance band, or a belt or a towel around the ball of the foot you will be stretching. Hold each end of the resistance tool in each hand. Then raise your leg and bend your knee so that it is at a 90-degree angle. Slowly kick your leg up toward the ceiling and return it to the 90-degree angle. You should feel this stretch behind your knee or in the back of your thigh.
2. Thoracic extension
Extending your spine expands your chest and upper abdominal muscles, which are compressed when you are inactive. This stretch will also increase your lung capacity.
Sit up straight on a chair and scoot forward until your back is no longer touching the backrest. Put both hands behind your head so that your palms are touching your head and interlock your fingers. Keep your elbows forward. Let your elbows go outward as you lift your chin and chest toward the ceiling, then slowly end the stretch.
3. Neck rotation
Did you know that the movements made by your head and eyes control the movements made by your entire spine? This stretch is also good for easing tension in your neck caused by too much time looking at your phone or computer.
Sit straight on a chair and scoot forward so that your back is not against the backrest. Keep your spine straight and your shoulders in a neutral position. As you exhale, turn to one side. Inhale as you return to a front-facing position. Repeat this stretch several times on the same side before moving on to stretching the other side. Try to look backward as you do this stretch because it will make your back stretch more because your spine follows your eyes.