ExRx.net (Exercise Prescription on the Net) is a free site and resource which I found recently that contains some of the best stretching information that I have seen anywhere. It covers strength training, balance, flexibility and too many topics to fit on this post. This is an excellent resource for personal trainers, personal training clients, gym members, etc.
If you have a particular area where you need more flexibility then simply go to the Exercise and Muscle Directory, select the body part either on the left or right and then view the stretches for the desired muscle or body part (stretches are displayed on the right).
There is also some basic but excellent information on their Stretching and Flexibility page. As a general rule hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds repeating 2-3 times, on each side if applicable, making sure not to "bounce" in and out of the movement.
This is an example of the format:
Straight Arm Chest Stretch
With arm extended, position hand on fixed structure shoulder height.
Turn body away from positioned arm. Hold stretch. Repeat with opposite arm.
Upper chest becomes more stretched with elbow lower. Lower chest and pectoralis minor become more stretched with elbow higher.
* Pectoralis Major, Sternal
* Pectoralis Major, Clavicular
* Pectoralis Minor
If you have any questions, or need help with execution make sure you ask your trainer. Chances are good that there are some stretches or techniques we are not familiar with, but what we don't know we'll find out, test it ourselves and make sure it's appropriate for you.
Please feel free to send this link around to your friends, but most importantly use it yourself to improve your own flexibility.
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