De-Stress With Kellen's Favorite Stretches

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Let me tell you, I have been stressed lately and that's okay!

Did you know the most common symptoms of stress are headaches, back pain, and decreased energy levels? Life is messy, and it's okay that is becomes stressful every now and then! It's important that to learn tools that help you cope and work through your stress.

For me, when I'm stressed I experience the three symptoms I listed above, but I have found ways to help me work through it! My favorites are listening to music and working out/stretching. I thought I would show you my favorite stretches that I use not only during times of stress, but with my workouts too! 

These are my four favorite stretches:

#4 STRETCH
This pose is wonderful for hips and a tight low back (use the ✋ if you have low back pain too). For this example. let's start with our right leg (then repeat on the left):

  • Start by lying down on your back.
  • Bring both legs up and cross your right ankle over your left knee.
  • Trying to keep your shoulders relaxed bring your hands around your left leg, one hand goes around the stem of the 4 and the other goes through the opening of the 4.
  • Pull your left leg towards your body and BREATHE.
  • You should feel the stretch on the side of your glute and a release of your low back.
  • For an extra stretch, have a partner gently push on your right leg.

Yblog Kellen Stretch 1

CHILD'S POSE*
This pose is a low back release, and it helps ground the body and mind for total relaxation! 

  • Start on your knees, keeping them hip width apart.
  • Push your glutes back so that they are touching the heel of your foot. 
  • Place your hands in front of you and spread your fingers wide with your palms flat on the ground. 
  • For fun, you can imagine a white ball of energy, in your low back, that expands and contracts with your breathing. This will help your low back release. 
  • For an extra stretch, you can open your knees wider than hip width or shift your arms to the right or left while keeping your glutes touching your heels.

*Disclaimer, you will see that I am crooked in my pictures, that is my scoliosis.

Yblog Kellen Stretch 2

FORWARD FOLD
A classic stretch! Forward Fold helps stretch out the hamstrings while giving the low back a good release. 

  • Start by standing up nice and tall.
  • Bring your chin towards your chest and slowly start rolling down your spine, imagining that each vertebrae are reaching up towards the ceiling as you continue to roll down.
  • Stop your roll down when either of your hands have touches the ground or toes, or as far as your hamstring will let you. Make sure your hand is down and pointing down towards the floor.
  • You can see in my pictures that I have a slight bend to my knees, that is okay! As you become more flexible the knees will straighten out!
  • Take 4 deep breaths and slowly roll your way back up your spine, stacking one vertebrae on top of each other at a time.

Yblog Kellen Stretch 3

HIP FLEXOR RELEASE
This stretch will get right into the front of the hips, and this one is a personal favorite of mine . For this example, let's start with our right leg (then repeat on the left):

  • Start on both your knees.
  • Bring your right leg forward, and walk your right foot out a little farther than a normal lunge position. 
  • Start with an inhale through your nose and as you exhale start to lean forward into your right leg. Making sure that your knee does not go over your toes. 
  • The stretch should be felt in the left hip. 
  • For an extra stretch, you can put your hands down on the ground around your right ankle!

Kellen Skidmore Greater Green Bay YMCA
Certified Personal Trainer & Wellness Coach