Fit Over 50 – Stretching Exercises

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 44,349
    Fitness instructor Margie Weiss demonstrates how to get fit over 50 including stretching.

    Margie Weiss: Hi! I am Margie Weiss and this video is getting fit over 50. The final segment here is stretching. The first two stretches if you only do two stretches in your whole life these are the two to do because of their value in back strength and back health. The first one is a forward fold and this is for your hamstrings and your glutes. The object behind this is not to tuck under and duck your head and put the top of your head towards your knee, but to take your back as if its a book and fold forward. You are not going to go as far with your back flat but you are going to get the right muscles which is from the waist, spans down all the around to the hamstring. So Christina can get down pretty far but if she were not as flexible, say she were up here, it's okay to pull or fold but dont round, reach out towards your toes and she can reach past, a lot of people by the time they hit 30, 40 can only get about this far which is okay. Wherever you are going to start, still fold flat forward, because then you are going to feel it in the right spot. When you finish the exercise you shake out a little bit, shake out your legs usually as you do it, you can also when you do the exercise breath in which is a little bit tighter position as you exhale the stretch will tend to go down a little bit far, you breath in again, exhale again that way you release the muscles, release the ability to stretch so that you can fold and go little bit farther. Second one thats for the back of the legs and the back of the glute. So you would want to do the opposite and thats the front and thats the hip flexure. The hip flexures are tendons that attach the quad muscles to the core. You are going to put foot forward, it's going to be slightly bent. Most people when they do this exercise will put their foot in too close. You have to have your foot farther way from your body than your knee. Then you can take that back knee if you out the one hand down just a little bit you can slide this knee back, just a little bit farther. Once you get your balance or you can put your hand on a chair for your balance, you can lift the chest up, so that your back is vertical. That way the weight of your body is over top of your hip flexure which is what you are trying to stress. So you are gently trying to press downwards into that hip flexure and you can feel that. If a hip flexure is tight, its going to draw your body forward, put a lot of pressure on the lower back which is why the hip flexure tightness can very often cause lower back issues. Get out of it safely by putting both hands on the floor and kind of swinging that leg around. Now we are going to do two exercises for the upper body. So we are going to stand up for those and again we will work on the chest and the back just like we did in terms of strength. So for the chest we are going to put our hands behind the back or come out and then breath in and look up and look the arms come up just a little bit. It's going to open the whole chest here and if you breath in and you fill up your lungs it's going to expand the chest and by looking back you get a really good stretch for the upper body. Then keeping your hands in the same position just lean over, this one is often harder for people who havent worked out, because many people can't get their hands as far, they can only get them right about here. So you may want a spotter to help just gently. Press here, remember you are in control when you do stretches, dont have the spotter in control. You can always just let your hands drops at the end and the basic way to get out of it is to just release. Once you are down there, hands go on your thighs and you slowly bring you way up by bending your knees round your back so that you get the lower back one vertebrae at a time to really get the top. Because often when you are stretching, you are holding a position for a long period of time, it's not like when you are leaning over and coming right back up and you have held it for a long time and then people will stand up really straight, really fast and you can injure your back. So when you are down there stretching for a long period of time and stretches should generally go for about 20 to 60 seconds. So you are down there for a while. So go ahead and safeguard yourself by hands on the thighs, around your back and bring it on up, also good because sometimes we can get light headed if you try to stand up too fast after an exercise. So those four exercises are really good, two for the upper body and two for the lower body to stretch-out after a workout.