Stretching Exercises Anyone Can Do With A Towel

Monday, December 18, 2006 - 11:13am

By Michele Silence, MA

You know you should stretch. Moreover, it feels good. But, oftentimes it’s just too difficult to get into some of those positions. Perhaps your body doesn’t move well, or maybe it isn’t very flexible. Don’t worry. Help is here. Actually, it’s in your bathroom. You can do some really beneficial stretches and never feel inadequate with a typical hand towel. Try the following stretches after you’ve warmed up your muscles with some gentle movement.

Exercise #1: Hamstring/Calve Stretch

While sitting with one leg in front of you and the other bent foot to knee, place towel around the foot of the extended leg. Keep leg straight and toes pulled in. Pull upper body straight down over extended leg into it. Repeat on other leg.

Exercise #2: Adductor Stretch

Lying on your back, place towel around the ankle of one leg. Open the leg straight out to the side, getting the leg as low to the ground as possible. Pull towards shoulder. Repeat on the other side.

Exercise #3: Quad Stretch

While lying face down or on your side, place towel around one ankle. Pull the foot behind the body. Repeat on the other side.

Exercise #4: Triceps/Shoulder Stretch

Take towel over one shoulder and grab from the bottom with the other hand. Stretch the tricep by pulling down with the bottom arm. Stretch the front of the shoulder by pulling up with the top hand. Repeat on the other side.

Exercise #5: Pectoral Stretch

Bring towel behind the back and grasp with both hands. Lift away from body without leaning the upper body forward.

Exercise #6: Upper Back Stretch

While sitting, wrap towel around both feet. Keep knees bent and pull against the feet.


How often should you stretch?

Stretching is good for you and you can safely do it daily. Just remember to not go beyond a comfortable range of motion and to back off slightly if you experience pain rather than muscular release. Stretching should be pleasurable and soothing. When done in this manner, you’ll want to do it more often and reap the added benefits of improved flexibility. Flexibility protects you from injuries and will keep your body limber for years to come.