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- MayoClinic.com: Slide Show: A Guide To 10 Basic Stretches
- MayoClinic.com: Stretching: Focus On Flexibility
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What Do I Stretch to Get My Feet to Touch My Head?
Touching your feet to your head requires a tremendous amount of flexibility, but it can be done. You can do it in a number of different ways, such as from a sitting or kneeling position. First, though, you should stretch your back, thighs and ankles. Before stretching, jog for a few minutes. You never want to stretch cold muscles, since the risk of hurting yourself will be greater.
Lie on your stomach with your elbows bent and your palms against the floor. Your lower arms should also be against the floor, from the elbows to the tips of your fingers. Slowly lift your torso, using your arms to support you. Your elbows, pelvis, hips and legs should still be glued to the floor. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds and come back down to the starting position, then repeat the exercise 10 times.
Stand upright with your arms down at your sides. Push your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades as close together as you can. Hold for five seconds, then release and repeat 10 times. Next, sit upright. Place your hands behind your neck for support. Slowly arch your back and look toward the ceiling, then come back to the starting position and repeat 10 times. Finally, sit upright with your arms folded in front of your chest. Slowly twist your upper back to one side, then to the other, and repeat 10 times.
Stand upright near a wall, placing one palm against it for support. Bend one knee, bringing your foot to your behind. Use your other hand to hold this position and to pull the thigh muscles. Bring your leg back down to the starting position, then try it with the other. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat 10 times.
Sit down on your knees with your heels under your butt. Slowly swing your body backward so that your knees are no longer touching the ground and you feel the stretch in your ankles. You should hold this position for one minute. If you feel any pain at all, stop immediately. You can also place your palms on the ground for support if needed.
Debbie Lechtman is a writer living in Hartford, Conn. She has a degree in magazine journalism from Syracuse University. In the past, she has worked for major national publications, specializing in fitness and wellness. Currently, she works as a writer and copywriter and is awaiting the upcoming publication of two short stories in literary magazines.