Forward Bend Stretch
This amazing stretch, when relaxed into, allows the entire body to open up and eases posterior tension. From the the insertion of the Calcaneal (Achillies) Tendon at the Calcaneus (back of the heel), all the way up through the muscles, tendons, fascia and other posterior soft tissue structures, through the legs, thighs, buttocks, back, shoulders and neck, to the origin of the various muscle attachments at the Occipital bone at the base of the posterior skull.
- In a standing or upright position with your feet parallel and approximately 20cm apart.
- Make sure your medial (inside) knees are positioned over the top of your Hallux (Big Toes).
- Stand with your pelvis tilted slightly anterior (or upward).
- Position your shoulders back and relaxed away from your ears.
- Your core is gently engaged.
- Your head is straight and eyes looking forward.
This stretch (like many) is about relaxing into the stretched position. Controlling your breathing, listening to your body and working in unison with it. Allowing the muscles to open and elongate at a comfortable and natural pace.
- Allowing your head to fall forward with your chin towards your chest.
- Vertebrae by vertebrae, begin to drape forward and down, allowing your shoulders to move anteriorly (forward).
- Keep your core engaged throughout and your pelvis anteriorly (upward) tilted.
- As you are draping forward, keep your thighs and legs straight, with your knees to an almost locked position.
- Balance your body weight slightly more into your toes and evenly through your feet.
- Maintain a comfortable curve within your spine as your arms are left to hang relaxed and your hands move towards a position approximately 5cm in front of your toes.
- When you reach your first comfortable point of stretch, relax here (where ever that may be), breathe slowly and evenly and just let yourself hang here for a nice slow count of twenty or however long you feel you would like.
- When you are ready to come out of the stretch, perform the reverse actions and come up slowly. Rolling vertebrae by vertebrae, bringing your shoulders back, your head up and your body back to the original starting position.
- Repeat three times as a guide or as many times as you feel you would like to try.
If you would like to increase this stretch, don’t try to reach for your feet, just engage your quadriceps (contract the big muscles in the front of your thighs). This is known as a reciprocal inhibition. Whereby, when the opposite muscle/s of those that you are aiming to stretch (in this case the hamstrings) contracts (engaging the quadriceps), through nerve signals and other actions, the brain stops sending contraction signals to the hamstrings, thus allowing this muscle group to relax and comfortably stretch further. Just remember to keep breathing steadily and evenly throughout the stretch.
Perform this easy stretch routine at least once a day or as often as you like. It is truly amazing how good this simple all over body stretch will make you feel…
- Wake up in the morning and forward bend.
- Get up and away from your desk and forward bend.
- Get out of that aeroplane seat and forward bend.
- Put down your supermarket basket and forward bend.
- Before you sit down to a meal, forward bend.
- When you bend forward to tie your shoe laces, forward bend.
You will likely get some strange looks from those around you for some of the most weirdest and wonderful places that you practice this stretch (I certainly know I have). However your body will absolutely love you for it and you can share with those onlookers why you are gifting your body with this stretch and how they too can benefit.
So I cannot stress enough, jump on board, do something truly beneficial for your body and get forward bending…
This information was brought to you by Fibre Tense Massage.
Find out how you can get your ‘Tension Release Massage, Lifestyle Wellness’ at www.fibretense.com