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How to Stretch Ligaments & Tendons
Stretching your ligaments and tendons is a good idea for expanding your overall flexibility. However, since your ligaments and tendons are responsible for holding your bones together, too much stretching is a bad thing. Pulls, strains and tears take a very long time to heal, so keep that in mind when trying stretches for the first time. Don't push yourself too hard and take it slow and easy to prevent injury.
Sit on the floor and bend your knees outward so that the soles of your feet touch. Lean forward and hold onto your feet. Bend at your waist, not your back. Hold for three seconds.
Stand and cross your left foot over your right. Bend over, keeping your back straight. Hold for several seconds before standing. Switch your feet and repeat.
Stand and stretch both arms out to your sides. Make circles with your arms in a clockwise motion for at least 15 seconds before reversing direction. You should feel this stretch the ligaments in your shoulders and chest.
Bend your right arm so that your elbow is pointing forward and your hand is on your shoulder. Take your left hand and grab onto your right elbow and push it up toward your face. Keep it in line with your head for several seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat on your other arm.
Stand with your hands pressed flat against a wall then put your right leg back, placing your weight on the ball of your foot. Bend into your left knee as you straighten out your right leg and try to make your heel touch the ground. You should feel a stretch in your calf and Achilles tendon. Hold for several seconds before switching legs.
Explore In Depth
- MayoClinic.com: Achilles Tendon Rupture: Prevention
- Arthritis Foundation. Benefits of exercise for arthritis.
- Dixit S, Difiori JP. Management of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Amer Fam Phy. 2007;75(2):194-202.
- Hurley M, Dickson K, Hallett R, et al. Exercise interventions and patient beliefs for people with hip, knee or hip and knee osteoarthritis: a mixed methods review. Cochrane Library. 2018. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010842.pub2
- Suzuki Y, Iijima H, Tashiro Y, et al. Home exercise therapy to improve muscle strength and joint flexibility effectively treats pre-radiographic knee OA in community-dwelling elderly: a randomized controlled trial. Clin Rheumatol. 2019. 38(1):133-141. doi: 10.1007/s10067-018-4263-3
Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.