Not all of us are naturally born as flexible as the gymnasts we see on TV. Most of us have to work really hard just to reach our toes, but being flexible and stretching regularly helps you feel lively and stay injury free. Stretching once a day can help warm up those muscles and keep you on your toes whatever your children throw at you throughout the day. We like to do our stretches first thing in the morning when we wake up. This is a great way to mentally prepare for the day and get your body moving. It only takes five minutes! It is important to stretch ALL the muscle groups in your body. Hold your stretches for thirty seconds each. When you do your stretches, don’t forget to breath. When you exhale your muscles relax and allow you to go deeper into the stretch. The deeper you go gymnasts stretchingand the longer you hold the more you improve your flexibility. We want to share with you our five favorite stretches, so you can do them too!

1.      Chest Stretch- Find any post(ex. Wall, Door), put your hand in field goal position flush to it, slightly lunge forward until you feel it opening up your chest.

*this is a great way to improve posture if you are someone who tends to sit or are hunched over throughout the day.

2.      Pike- Although very intimidating, it is a great stretch for your legs. Sit flat on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you and start to reach for your toes.

 *this is also a great stretch to gauge your improvement and see how your flexibility increases over time.

3.      Triangle- while standing, place one foot slightly in front of the other to create a triangle between your legs, reach down with both hands toward your front foot trying to touch your toes. To add a challenge, try tapping your front foot or flex your toes up to the sky to get a deeper stretch.

*this stretch is great for targeting multiple muscle groups in your body. You feel this in your calves, hamstrings and even low back.

4.      Butterfly- sit on the ground placing the bottoms of your feet together, lightly press down on your thighs until you feel a stretch in your inner thighs.

*this is a great way to open your hips. Tight hips are very common and can even lead to back pain.

5.       Seal- lay flat on your stomach with your feet flat and your hands in a push up position, slowly lifting your chest up using your arms to a position that is manageable for you.

*you will feel this stretch in your abdominal area and slightly in your back. To prevent harmful back pain, squeeze your shoulder blades together and keep your elbows tight.