Does being cooped up in the house have you feeling blue? A little exercise can go a long way to replenish your endorphins and help you start feeling upbeat again. That’s why we put together the best of the best active stretches, dynamic warmups, and progressive strength exercises from our experts at UPMC Sports Performance to get you through these long days at home. These activities require minimal floor space and no equipment, apart from items that you already have at home. So, make a little space in your favorite room, and let’s get started with some active stretches!
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Compared to static stretches, which many athletes may be used to, active stretches are gentler on your body and have been shown to help with speed, power, and agility. You’ll need to grab a stable chair for these (no, the swivel chair at your desk won’t do). We’re going to look at three active stretches:
Place your right heel on the chair, stand tall, and lean forward from your belly button until you feel a stretch. Lean back and forth a few times. Then, in the same position, rock your hips side to side in a 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock motion and repeat a few times. Finally, twist your torso side to side to get a full (3D if you will) stretch of your hamstring. Remove your right heel from the chair and repeat with your left leg.
Toe-in your right foot and place your left foot flat on the chair. Place your right hand above your head and lunge forward and back a few times (your arm should be going back as you lunge forward). Then, with your left foot still on the chair, use your right arm to reach over your head and to the left for a side bend, and go back and forth a few times. Slowly transition this into a rotational pattern by rotating your torso to the left and back to center a few times. Remove your left foot from the chair and repeat with your right foot on the chair.
Stand with your left side facing the front of your chair. Open your left hip and place your foot flat on the chair with that hip open (your right foot should still point forward). Lunge into the chair, stretching your left arm over your head with each lunge (you should feel that stretch in the left side of your torso). Then, with your left arm still raised, move your hips front to back several times. Finally, stretch both arms out for balance, and rotate your torso toward the chair and away from the chair several times. Remove your foot from the chair, turn so that your right side faces the chair, and repeat with your right foot on the chair.
Click here to view Stay Active at Home with Warmups from Sports Performance. Click here to view Stay Active at Home with Exercises from Sports Performance.
Our active stretches include three planes of motion each to stretch these specific muscles. To schedule an appointment with Sports Performance at UPMC Sports Medicine, please call 1-855-93-SPORT (77678). For more information, visit UPMCSportsMedicine.com.
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About Sports Medicine
Sports and physical activity bring with them a potential for injury. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury – or improve athletic performance – UPMC Sports Medicine and the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program can help. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our experts partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers, and about 100 other high school, college, and regional teams and events throughout Pennsylvania – working daily to build better athletes.