Sunday, 4 August 2013



Splits are not for acrobats alone. Here's a flexi routine to keep you pain-free

So, you workout five days a week, watch everything that makes its way to your stomach and drink four litres of water a day. But can you touch your toes with ease? Flexibility, defined as the capability of being bent repeatedly without damage or injury, is not essential to dancers, atheletes and acrobats alone. Stiffness has resulted in ligament tears, muscle strain, tendonitis, neck and lower back pain and even a slipped disc.

As we age, our flexibility reduces. Slouching on the sofa, sitting in front of a computer for hours and driving on a long commute, only make matters worse. "It's the joints that are less frequently used that tend to be worse affected.
                But you can't rush into getting flexible. Contemporary dance choreographer Sumeet Nagdev calls achieving flexibility a gradual art. "Simple stretches that are done daily with enough repetitions help in making the body supple, and increase muscle strength."

Here's 4-step get flexi daily routine:

Hamstring stretch
Why do it?
Helps in tailbone flexibility. A sudden jerk to your legs will not leave you with a 'catch'. Stand with your feet together and drop your body down gradually, bending at the waist, slowly touching the floor with your hands (don't force it). Keep your knees straight. Drop your head first, and then your back, vertebrae by vertebrae. To come up, bend your knees and slowly roll up so that you come out of suspension. Your head should come up last. Do this eight times every day. By the end of the eighth time, you must try and touch palms to floor.

Hip flexor
Why do it?
Stretches your hands, opens the hip flexors (group of skeletal muscles that act to flex the thigh bone and aid walking) and strengthens muscles around the tailbone. Sit on the floor with your back against the wall, and legs stretched out. Bend slightly forward and touch your toes. Repeat four times. Slowly, spread your legs apart to 150 degrees, keeping your back straight. Place your palms flat on the floor between your legs. Gradually move your palms forward in a straight line, bending your back without moving your hips. When the legs are at 150-180 degrees and the chest is parallel to the floor, that's an ideal position.

Hand stretch
Why do it?
Works the triceps and forearms; you're less likely to pull a muscle. Sit upright and keep your hands stretched out with palms facing outward and fingers pointing down. Hold the fingers of your left hand with your right and slowly guide the left arm towards the right (feel the stretch in your left tricep). Don't bend elbows. Repeat with other hand


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