The Sunday News
1) Pectoral-deltoid stretch: Stand sideways to a fixed pole or doorjamb. With your arm outstretched and palm against the pole or doorjamb, gradually lean forward, letting your bodyweight exert a pull on to the shoulder-pectoral area. Hold this position for 10 seconds, rest and repeat three times. This will loosen your chest and shoulder muscles.
2) Low back and hamstring stretch- Lie on your back and lift your legs back over your head. Carefully move your legs back further, until your feet almost touch the floor Hold for 7 10 seconds, return to starting position and repeat three times.
3) Toe touches-Feet together and knees unlocked, bend forward and take hold of your calves, ankles or feet, depending on how far down you can stretch. Pull yourself gently down to a position of full stretch in your hamstrings and lower back muscles. Hold that position, feeling the stretch for 10 seconds
4) Alternate toe touches-Spread your feet about three feet apart. With your knees unlocked, bend forward and grasp your left knee, ankle or foot with your right hand. Hold this position for 10 seconds, release, then repeat on the other side. Repeat
three times on each side, gradually working up to holding the stretched position for 10 seconds each time.
5) Side bends-With your right hand by your side and your left arm held straight overhead, bend to the right as far as possible, letting your right hand slide down your leg. Hold the bottom position for 10 seconds, release, then come upright. Reverse your arms and repeat the bend to the other side. Do both movements three times each.
Warm up/Cool down exercises
After completing the five stretching movements you can also do the following exercises to increase your circulation to prepare yourself for your workout. The first of these is jogging in place and jumping rope. You can do pushups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks. You should allow no more than 5-10 minutes for this warmup stage since you should save your energy for your workouts
There are good warm-routines; Jumping jacks, 20-30 repetitions. Alternate toe touches 20-30 reps each side.
The writer, Simon Gama is a Zimbabwean fitness coach based in Dubai.