Whether you’re recovering from an injury or just trying to stay healthy, practicing physiotherapy exercises at home is a great way to improve your fitness. They’re easy to do and will help you improve your range of motion, flexibility and strength. Plus, they can be done in as little as 10 minutes per day!
Here are 5 simple exercises that you can do right now, without any special equipment. Just make sure to consult with a doctor before starting any new fitness program.
1. The Cat Stretch
The cat stretch is probably the best-known physiotherapy exercise for flexibility and relieving back pain. It targets the spine, hamstrings, glutes and lower back. It’s particularly useful after long periods of sitting or sitting at a desk without getting up on your breaks to move around.
Start on your hands and knees on an even surface. Relax your stomach muscles, looking down at the floor. Then, tighten your stomach muscles as you arch your back up into a curve for 10-15 seconds. You’ll feel pressure in the lower parts of your body that need stretching out after being hunched over all day.
2. Reach for the Sky
This exercise is a great way to improve your posture and tone muscles. Stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart, shoulders relaxed and chin level. Place your hands by the sides of your body as if you were going to hug someone. Keep them flat against your sides as you gently tense into a stretch, then raise your arms up and over your head. Gently hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
3. The Butterfly Stretch
The big muscles in your thighs can tighten up when you sit too much, which leads to back pain and even knee problems. This simple stretch targets the groin and inner thigh area to relieve tightness and maintain range of motion in your legs.
Sit on a furniture surface and sit so that the bottoms of your feet are touching each other. Keep a small space between your knees as you cross your ankles and slightly spread them apart from one another.
If this position is too hard, place a rolled-up piece of cloth under your feet to help you maintain proper alignment. Gently lean forward while maintaining the space between your knees. Keep your back straight and hold for 30 seconds.
4. Ankle Circles
The ankle may seem like a simple joint, but it plays an important part in overall balance. To stretch out this area of the leg, sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you. Keep your knees apart but close enough to where you shouldn’t be able to move them any closer. With the ankle of the right leg, make small clockwise circles (6-8), then switch direction and do counterclockwise circles (6-8). Repeat on the other foot for 15 seconds each direction.
5. The Bridge
The best way to stretch out your glutes and hips is in the bridge position. Lie on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, feet flat on the floor. Place your arms down by your sides for stability, then lift your hips up so that you’re in straight line from knee to shoulder. Keep this bridge position for 10 seconds, then lower your hips back down slowly to the floor. Repeat this movement 3-5 times for a quick and easy hip stretch.
These exercises are great to do in between your busy day and can be done at home, right now. They’re simple and don’t require anything special, just a firm surface like the floor. Whether they’re stretching your legs after a long day desk-bound or helping you quickly recover from an injury, these exercises will help you feel better and move more freely.
Doing them regularly will help you maintain the range of motion, flexibility and strength in your main muscle groups so that you can live a pain-free lifestyle as you get older. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a partner or friend and start practicing!
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