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Relaxing Stretch

This relaxing stretch on the ball targets all the muscles of the body with unique and sometimes challenging exercises.  Open up your hips, chest and back while building balance and stability with these relaxing moves.

Precautions
See your doctor before trying this workout if you have any injuries, illnesses or other conditions.

Equipment Needed
An exercise ball and a mat.

How To

  • After your workout or when your muscles are warm, perform each exercise as shown for at least 1 rep, holding each stretch for 15-30 seconds.
  • For more flexibility benefits, do this workout 3 times a week, performing each exercise 2-3 times.
  • Relax into each stretch and avoid bouncing or straining.
  • Skip any exercises that cause pain or discomfort.
Chest Stretch
Lie face up on the ball and roll down until you back is fully supported.  Relax your hips and head and let your arms fall out to the sides for a relaxing chest stretch.  Hold for 3-5 breaths.
relaxbackball.jpg (8033 bytes)

Whole Body Stretch with Ball
With legs wide, place hands on ball and roll it out, pressing your chest towards the floor to stretch the back and hamstrings.  Hold for 5 breaths.

relaxballroll.jpg (9330 bytes)

Back Stretch
Stand in front of ball and place the side of the right hand on the ball (thumb pointing up).  Roll the ball towards the left while keeping the hips square.  Hold for 3-5 breaths and switch to the other side.

relaxballsidestretch.jpg (9828 bytes)

Balance with Ball
Stand on left leg, right leg straight out behind you, holding the ball overhead.  Slowly lower the ball towards the floor while sweeping the leg up behind you and balance, using the ball for support.  Try to roll the ball out a bit to really lengthen the body from head to toe.  Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other leg.

relaxbalance.jpg (9130 bytes)  relaxbalancetree.jpg (7389 bytes)
Modified Half Moon
While still in the 'Balance with Ball' position on the right leg, rotate body to the left so that your hips now face front and sweep the left arm up directly over your shoulder.  Keep the other hand on ball for balance. Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
relaxballhalfmoon.jpg (9626 bytes)
Lunge Stretch
Place ball under you and get into a lunge position, one leg forward (bent to 90 degrees), back leg straight out and balancing on toe.  You should be resting on the ball.  Bring hands out in front of you or overhead and feel the stretch through the hips.  Hold for 3-5 breaths and repeat on other leg.
relaxlungestretch.jpg (9920 bytes)
Warrior II on Ball
While in Lunge Stretch, turn the body to the left (if your right leg is forward), turning the toes towards the front of the room and resting foot on floor.  Take the right arm straight out in front at shoulder level, left arm back.  Hold for 3-5 breaths and repeat on other side.
Inner Thigh Stretch
Sit on ball and take the legs out wide.  Place elbows on the inside of the knees and relax into the stretch, using your elbows to gentle push the knees out for a deeper stretch.  Hold for 3-5 breaths.
relaxinnerthigh.jpg (11170 bytes)
Back Stretch
This works better with a smaller ball.  In standing position hug the ball to your chest and then bend forward, resting the ball on the thighs while letting your arms hang down towards the floor.  Relax your body, letting your legs support you, and open up through the back.  Hold for 3-5 breaths.
relaxoverball.jpg (9596 bytes)
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