Remember the bend and snap move from Legally Blond? Let’s try it!
Drop something on the floor and then bend over, hinging at the waist to pick it up.
If you have ever worked out with kettlebells, weights, or a Bala Beam like I am, (I love Bala products!) it’s similar. Bend over from the waist like you are picking up an item, slowly return to your starting position-almost scraping it on your shins on the way up and then “snap” up, arching your back like your back muscles are holding a pencil, standing up straight, sticking out your chest and returning to your starting position.
Are you flexible enough to bend down to do the bend and snap?
Even if you don’t exercise you should try to stretch for 10 minutes every day. Studies have shown that flexibility is an indicator of overall health and it creates a better quality of life. Some studies indicate flexibility could even lead to a longer life.
Fun useless fact: My grandfather used to call me stretch. I love a good stretch, but I usually only stretch when in class. That’s a big mistake because stretching, in addition to the benefits of increasing your flexibility, also makes you feel better, increases blood flow, increases your range of motion, reduces stiffness, improves your posture, prevents falls, and can improve your sense of well being.
Have no fear- we have four FUN stretching exercises that will leave you feeling flexible, relaxed, and ready to do the bend and snap
Downward Dog is a great whole-body stretch. Use blocks under your wrists or your feet to start if you are stiff or uncomfortable.
- Start on all fours, hands flat and shoulders width, fingers pointing towards the end of the mat
- Exhale, tuck your toes, and raise your hips to the sky, do not arch your back
- The gaze should be between the legs
- Straighten your legs, slowly making an “A” shape with your body
- Keep shoulders away from ears, ears in alignment with upper arms
- Hold for about 10 counts
Triangle pose opens up your chest, shoulders, and back. Use a yoga block as a rest for your lower hand if you don’t want to rest your hand on the inside of your lower leg.
- Stand with feet about 4 ft apart
- Palms down, arms out to sides (ankles should be directly under hands)
- Point right foot to right, move left toes inwards
- Keep legs straight & shoulders open
- Raise left hand up to the sky, reach your right hand down
- Rest right hand on the block (placed by the inside of the foot) or shin
- Turn head upwards to look at the left hand
- Left-arm and right arm should be in close alignment
- Hold and repeat on the other side
Standing Shoulder Pass with a resistance band is a great shoulder stretch and opens up your chest. You will find a resistance band that will be your fabulous best friend for stretching.
- Hold each end of the resistance band with your palms facing forward with the band behind you, hip height and tight
- Keep your shoulders down and your chest high
- Take your arms up over your head to the front of your body to waist level.
- Raise the band forward and up and over your head to your back.
- Repeat for 8 reps.
Seated Forward Reach is a great hamstring and lower back stretch with the resistance band
- Sit on the floor with legs extended and feet together.
- Loop the band around both feet.
- Cross the bands and grab the band with both hands.
- Using the band to create tension, curl your back, engage your abs, and pull your body forward over your legs.
- Hold for a few seconds repeat 8 times
Just 10 minutes daily is all it will take- try these stretches and you will be on your way to flexibility and doing a show-stopping bend and snap.
Let us know if you have any questions or suggestions. We would love to hear from you.
Aging Enthusiastically Yours,
Gretchen & Annie
disclosure: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means if you click on them and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are our own. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for supporting donuts and pie fitness.
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