Your Resilient Road Trip Guide

Did somebody say Road Trip?!


I think we can agree that we’ve all had our fair share of numb bottoms after a few hours in the car. Well say goodbye to road trip stiffness & hello to our Resilient Road Trip Guide!
 

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite stretches to do while on the road, using nothing but what you typically have available in your car. 

HOWEVER, much like drinking & driving, we do not condone Stretching & Driving. For safety purposes, be sure to reserve these stretches to being done safely from the Pit Stop parking lot & not the driver's seat! 

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1. Seated Figure 4 Stretch 

        Gently cross your left leg over your right leg, bringing your left foot on top of your right knee. Sitting with your head & chest up, gently push your left knee toward the ground with your left hand, creating a strong, yet gentle stretch in your left glute. To increase the intensity of the stretch, gently lean forward from the hips, keeping a flat back. Hold for 90 seconds & repeat on the other side.

 

2. Seated Spinal Twist

        Sitting in the car, gently twist to the left, using the back of the seat & the steering wheel to create leverage.Use each breath to get deeper into the stretch. Hold for 45-60 seconds & repeat on the other side. 

3. Shoulder/Lat Opener

        Using you car door as a prop, place both hands on the top of the door and lean forward, keeping your spine flat & a soft bend in your knees. Pull your head through at the bottom of the stretch to create a stronger shoulder opener. Use each breath to get deeper into the stretch. Hold for 45-60 seconds.

 

4. Standing Lateral Line Stretch

        Stand with your back to the car & the door open. Using the door as a prop, place both hands on the upper aspect of the door with your left hand on top of your left hand. Cross your right leg in front of your left leg & lean your hips to the left, creating a great stretch that spans the entire left side of your body. Hold for 45-60 seconds & switch sides. 

 

5. Standing Quad Stretch 

      Using your car door for balance, stand on your right leg and bending your left knee. Gently reach for your left foot with your left hand, creating a strong but gentle stretch throughout your left hip flexor & quad. Squeeze your left glute for 5 seconds, followed by relaxing your glute for 5 seconds & continue alternating for 90 seconds before switching sides. 

 

6. Standing Hamstring Stretch 

        Standing on your right leg, place the heel of your left foot on the foot of your door frame, keeping your left knee straight. Squeeze your left quad for 5 seconds, followed by relaxing your quad for 5 seconds. During the phase of relaxing your quad, gently bend forward from the hips with a flat back to create a stronger hamstring stretch. Continue alternating the contract/relax stretch for 90 seconds before switching legs. 

 

Be sure to document your stretching adventures on your next road trip & use the hashtag #SimplyStretchLA!

We love to see the Simply Stretch LA community putting our guides to good use!

 

Until next time! Flexibly yours,

Lindsay Sudell, CFST-2, MOT, OTR/L, CPT, CFL1

 

 

Desk Jockeys: Sitting Is The New Smoking

How to Improve Your Posture & Decrease Your Risk of Injury at Your Desk Job

According to the New York Times, 80% of modern day Americans work desk jobs. Thats more than a 30% increase from 1960, and the side affects are palpable (literally).

How many of you suffer from:

Back pain? Neck pain? Hip pain? Headaches? Stress? Anxiety? Fatigue? Difficulty focusing?

All of these factors could be in part due to the set-up of your office & workplace habits! Would you like to change this? Well, let us help you!

 

We have put together a Guide addressing 5 main topics to Help you Improve Your Posture & Decrease your Risk of Injury at work! 

 

1) Sitting vs Standing Desk

        Should we sit or stand at work? We get asked this question on a daily basis & the simple answer is both! Staying in either position for extended periods of time without modification is sub-optimal. We all know that sitting is bad for us (Sitting is the New Smoking, anyone?), but what about standing? Frequently people purchase standing desks & expect their aches & pains to magically go away. What they don't realize is that we can get into some pretty funky standing positions that can throw our bodies into malalignment - standing hip pop, ladies?

standing hip pop.jpg

The infamous hip pop.

Resist the habitual urge to stand like this at your standing desk! You will do more harm than good!

        What we recommend is frequent alternation between sitting, standing & most importantly - half kneeling! Yes, HALF KNEELING! This is the most strongly recommended position that we suggest you work in. It forces your spine to stay in a neutral position (go ahead - try to pop your hip; bet you can't!), and if you lean forward just a smidgen, you might just get a yummy little hip flexor stretch as an added bonus! 

Half Kneeling on an Aerex pad. Like my desk?

Half Kneeling on an Aerex pad. Like my desk?

 

2) Proper Desk Ergonomics

        Proper desk ergonomics are EVERYTHING. Think about how many hours a day you are spending at your desk, 5+ days per week, +/- 52 weeks per year .... thats ALOT of hours. Its a lot of hours spent in suboptimal positioning if your desk set-up is not in tip-top shape. 

        Here is a super cool sitting & standing desk ergonomics calculator by Human Solution that recommends optimal desk, screen &/or chair height depending on your physical height. All you have to do is plug in your height in inches & feet & viola! Check it out, see how your current desk situation stacks up & make modifications as necessary!

 

3) Products to Help Improve Your Posture

        Are you really motivated to improve your posture but feel like you need a little help? Here are a couple of our favorite products that we have personally tested & recommend to our clients! Check them out below!

        1. The Better Back!

 

4) Behavior Modification

        Behavior modification is one of the most powerful tools to add to your tool box to injury prevention. Here are some invaluable tips to incorporate into your day:  

        1. Set a timer reminding you to get up & move every 60 minutes!

        2. Remember the days of people taking 2 small 'Smoke Breaks' per day?! Say bu-bye to those days & instead, incorporate 2 small Stretching Breaks into your work day! See below for some tips on some good mid-day stretches that you can do in the office!

        3. Drink plenty of water! - Hydration is the key to a subtle, mobile myofascial system!

        4. Adopt a regular workout regimine - and stick to it! To have optimal posture & balance out our notoriously tight pegs, it is essential to have strong core & upper back musculature! Think traps, rhomboids, rotator cuff musculature & rear deltoid exercises!   

 

5) Last but not least, S-T-R-E-T-C-H!!!!

        And of course, STRETCH! Here are a few good go-to stretches to do in the office when you're short on time. Next time you're waiting for a conference call to start, give these a whirl. Your body will thank you. 

        1. Figure 4 Stretch - glute stretch

*Lie down on the ground next to a wall, crossing your foot over your opposite knee. Gently push your knee toward the wall until you feel a strong but comfortable glute stretch. The closer you are to the wall, the more intense the stretch will be. Hold for 90 seconds & then repeat on the other side.

*Lie down on the ground next to a wall, crossing your foot over your opposite knee. Gently push your knee toward the wall until you feel a strong but comfortable glute stretch. The closer you are to the wall, the more intense the stretch will be. Hold for 90 seconds & then repeat on the other side.

        2. Seated Spinal Twist Stretch - spinal rotation stretch 

*Sit on the ground with your legs out in front of you. Cross your right leg over your left with your right knee bent. Gently twist to the right, pressing your left arm against your right leg to generate a stronger spinal twist. Hold for 90 seconds & gently come out of the stretch. Repeat on the other side.  

*Sit on the ground with your legs out in front of you. Cross your right leg over your left with your right knee bent. Gently twist to the right, pressing your left arm against your right leg to generate a stronger spinal twist. Hold for 90 seconds & gently come out of the stretch. Repeat on the other side.  

        3. Dynamic Triangle Stretch - hamstring/adductor stretch

*Try this one out to give your hamstrings & adductors a nice stretch! Complete 10 reps per side.

        4. Seated Pass-Through Stretch - chest opening stretch

*Looking for a new chest opener? Take this one for a spin! 😊 Use a towel, jacket, or even a pair of your yoga pants out of your post-work gym bag to assist with this stretch! Focus on keeping your head/chest up and your elbows straight throughout the movement. Gently move your hands closer together as your shoulders warm up. Complete 10 reps.

        5. Open Lizard Stretch - hip flexor stretch

*Get into a deep lunge with your right leg forward, your head/chest up and your spine flat. Lean deeper into the lunge until you feel a strong but comfortable stretch in your left hip flexor. Hold for 90 seconds & then switch sides.  

*Get into a deep lunge with your right leg forward, your head/chest up and your spine flat. Lean deeper into the lunge until you feel a strong but comfortable stretch in your left hip flexor. Hold for 90 seconds & then switch sides.  

 

Do you have any suggestions to improving posture that we did not include here? Comment below to share your tips! We want to hear them!

 

Until next time! Flexibly yours,

Lindsay Sudell, MOT, OTR/L, CFST-2, CPT, CFL1

 

 

Your Guide to a Limber Layover

 

Feeling stiff following a flight?!


Do you often find yourself wanting to smack the person in charge of designing airline seating ergonomics? -Oh yeah, us too! 

I have good news for you!

No, I don't have the airline ergonomics manager on site for cruel punishment, but I have compiled a list of my favorite stretches to do during layovers!

 

Next time you travel, get flexible between flights with our Limber Layover Guide! 

Check it out here & be sure to pack it in your carry-on before your next flight!

 

1) Pectoralis Stretch

*Keep elbow bent at a 90 degree angle. Gently slide down the wall toward your front foot & slowly twist torso away from the wall for a strong stretch across the front of your chest & shoulder. Hold 90 seconds & then repeat on the other side.

*Keep elbow bent at a 90 degree angle. Gently slide down the wall toward your front foot & slowly twist torso away from the wall for a strong stretch across the front of your chest & shoulder. Hold 90 seconds & then repeat on the other side.

2) Twisted Hip Flexor & Quadricep Stretch

*Step into a deep lunge with your back knee on the ground. Gently twist your torso toward your front leg while reaching back for your opposite foot with your hand. For an optimal hip flexor & quadricep stretch, alternate squeezing the glute of your back leg for 5 seconds & relaxing your glute for 5 seconds. Complete for 90 seconds total per leg.

*Step into a deep lunge with your back knee on the ground. Gently twist your torso toward your front leg while reaching back for your opposite foot with your hand. For an optimal hip flexor & quadricep stretch, alternate squeezing the glute of your back leg for 5 seconds & relaxing your glute for 5 seconds. Complete for 90 seconds total per leg.

3) Lunge with Trunk Rotation Stretch

*Start in a deep lunge with your right foot forward & your left leg back with your knee straight. Bring your right elbow to touch your right foot (or as close as you can get!) & then twist your torso open with your right arm extended toward the sky. Complete 10 times & then switch legs & repeat.

*Start in a deep lunge with your right foot forward & your left leg back with your knee straight. Bring your right elbow to touch your right foot (or as close as you can get!) & then twist your torso open with your right arm extended toward the sky. Complete 10 times & then switch legs & repeat.

4) Russian Baby Makers

*Start in a deep squat with your arms inside your knees & your fingers under your toes; head & chest up. Gently stand up, straightening your legs while keeping your chest as close to your thighs as possible. Hold for 3-5 seconds & repeat 10 times. 

*Start in a deep squat with your arms inside your knees & your fingers under your toes; head & chest up. Gently stand up, straightening your legs while keeping your chest as close to your thighs as possible. Hold for 3-5 seconds & repeat 10 times. 

What are some of your favorite stretches to do after a long flight?

Share in the comments below! We want to know!

 

Flexibly yours,

Lindsay Sudell, CFST-2, MOT, OTR/L, CPT, CFL1

Stretches to do while watching Netflix

Are you the type that knows that you should stretch, but just can't seem to find the time?

What better time to stretch than while binge watching Netflix (or watching television in general)?!

Well you're in luck!

I've compiled my favorite 4 stretches to do while watching Netflix - all without having to take your eyes off of the TV, of course! :)   Check it out & comment below with some of your favorite stretches that you can do while watching Netflix!

1)    Couch Stretch – Targets hip flexors & quadriceps

*I strongly recommend using a couch (hence the name) or bench to do this stretch vs completing it up against a wall, as the objective is to isolate your quads/hip flexors - not your ankle plantar flexion. For optimal results, alternate squeezing the glute of your back leg for 5 seconds, followed by relaxing for 5 seconds throughout the duration of the stretch.

*I strongly recommend using a couch (hence the name) or bench to do this stretch vs completing it up against a wall, as the objective is to isolate your quads/hip flexors - not your ankle plantar flexion. For optimal results, alternate squeezing the glute of your back leg for 5 seconds, followed by relaxing for 5 seconds throughout the duration of the stretch.

2)    Standing Pigeon Stretch – Targets glutes & hips

*Keep the shin of your front leg parallel to the elevated surface (your knee should stay at approximately 90 degrees of flexion), and your back leg as far back as you can while keeping your back knee straight. Keeping your head & chest tall, gently lean forward from your hips (don't round your back). If you're doing it correctly, you should feel a strong stretch in your glutes/lateral hip region with this bad boy. 

*Keep the shin of your front leg parallel to the elevated surface (your knee should stay at approximately 90 degrees of flexion), and your back leg as far back as you can while keeping your back knee straight. Keeping your head & chest tall, gently lean forward from your hips (don't round your back). If you're doing it correctly, you should feel a strong stretch in your glutes/lateral hip region with this bad boy. 

3)    Prone Twist Chest Opener – Targets pecs, anterior deltoid, biceps, spinal rotation

*Initiate this stretch by lying on your stomach with your arms out in a "T" position. Slowly roll back to one side, creating a gentle stretch in the anterior aspect of your shoulder & throughout your spine. 

*Initiate this stretch by lying on your stomach with your arms out in a "T" position. Slowly roll back to one side, creating a gentle stretch in the anterior aspect of your shoulder & throughout your spine. 

4)    Cobra Stretch / Upward Facing Dog – Targets the core & hip flexors

*For cobra, lift chest, keep elbows bent & thighs on the ground. For upward facing dog, slowly extend your elbows all the way & keeping your knees straight, lift your thighs slightly off of the ground - just ask any yogi. :)

*For cobra, lift chest, keep elbows bent & thighs on the ground. For upward facing dog, slowly extend your elbows all the way & keeping your knees straight, lift your thighs slightly off of the ground - just ask any yogi. :)

 

Flexibly yours,

Lindsay Sudell, CFST-2, MOT, OTR/L, CPT, CFL1