THE MILLION DOLLAR STRETCH
Exercise plays a vital role in our health and wellness–and is just one of the reasons Fleet Landing developed WELLInspired™ Living. Making wellness a way of life is certainly one of the reasons our Residents choose Fleet Landing as their home.
While it’s true that a good wellness program improves quality of life, it’s not just about eating the right foods and performing the correct level of exercises. In fact, a good stretching routine is equally important!
That’s why Fleet Landing’s Exercise Physiologist Alisa Blanchard is delighted to share with you the “Million $ Stretch.” The stretch is best for hip or lower back pain, but can also improve balance and gait.
You may ask, well, how so? According to Alisa, the Gluteus Medius muscle (also called the “glutes” and located in the buttocks) is partly responsible for your gait/stride. When you walk, is it in a straight line? Or do you find yourself walking a little more side to side to retain your balance? The tighter the Gluteus Medius is the more likely your steps will sway. The Million $ Stretch really focuses on releasing that tightness, which allows for better muscle efficiency when walking.
The Million $ Stretch is also beneficial for anyone who may suffer from sciatic nerve pain, which makes it highly effective in the release of the “piriformis” muscle, located deep in the glutes. Once the piriformis is inflamed it often causes impingement on the sciatic nerve, which can be debilitating.
The image below demonstrates the “Million $ Stretch.” Try to place the ankle or foot on top of the opposite thigh near the knee. The goal is to open up the hips with the knee away from the body (parallel to the floor). Begin to smoothly lean forward with the torso to shorten the angle of the hip joint, then hold that position for 30-45 seconds. This will cause discomfort–but in a good way! You will slowly begin to feel the release.
This stretch is referred to as the Million $ Stretch because it is so beneficial that it is worth a million dollars! Perform this stretch on both sides daily, or even several times a day! It will make a difference!
*As always, it is best to consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise routine.