This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in July of 2021. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EETcLXrdT8M
Bob: So we're going to talk about five movements you should do every night. I call these movements because they involve stretching and strengthening. So it's very efficient. It's not just stretching; it's not just strengthening.
Brad: I think you could qualify it as an exercise, though.
Bob: Yeah, that's true, too. But I like "movement".
Brad: Yeah, that's nice. Our English major would be happy with that.
Bob: Most people need these combos, especially if you sit a lot, Brad. They're going to help that. They're going to help with your posture, which we're so big on. And it's going to help keep your legs stretched out and your back, it is all-encompassing.
Brad: Right. And the thing with sitting like you said, so many people are sitting at work now, sitting in the car, sitting at home, watching TV.
Bob: Watching TV, watching Netflix.
Brad: The hip flexors, and the abdominals, all get tight as a result of that.
Bob: Just because they're tight, too, doesn't mean that they're also not weak. And a lot of them are weak and tight. So, I'm going to start with the hip flexor, Brad.
Brad: Okay, so this is number one?
Bob: Number one, yup. So which foot should I put forward? My best foot? Haha! Okay, I'm stretching the left hip flexor. So now I'm doing the knees-over-toes guy. So I just had him on the podcast.
Brad: Oh, so he's a young man that is really kind of changing the whole movement.
Bob: And we have other therapists who are promoting this, too.
Brad: Sure. Right, right, right.
Bob: There's some research that shows it's fine. Now you would not do any of these with pain.
Brad: Right, exactly.
Bob: Always no pain. So you're actually stretching the knees over the toes. You're really stretching the hip flexor. And this is where you add the strengthening, Brad. Now for me, I'm old., and I'm just starting this, so I'm actually going to hang on to something like this. And this is what I do every morning.
Brad: It's like lunges.
Bob: Yup, it's like lunges. But I've got the knees over the toes and I'm really fully stretched out. You might even lean forward a bit.
Brad: Again, this should not be painful in the joints, though.
Bob: No, no. If this knee hurts with this, kaput! Stop!
Brad: See I'm not totally sold on knees over toes because I get pain with my knees. I have in the past.
Bob: I know. So you would not do this one.
Bob: You would do something else.
Brad: But I am going to consider getting into it gently. I always go into things too hard. That's because I'm an ego guy. It's a thing, you know.
Bob: That's absolutely true. I will concur. All right, Brad. Do you want to show the next one? You're going to do some type of heel chord stretch and strengthen. You could do these on stairs.
Brad: Yeah, here we have a step. You put your foot on the step, and right about your forefoot, just so the ball of your foot is on the step, and then drop down. Get a stretch. Now hopefully you have a handrail. I'm going to use the Booyah Stik, because it's my favorite. Up and then we're going to stretch. So I really like this concept of getting the stretch and working the full range of motion strengthening. How many repetitions, Bob?
Bob: We can start off with just ten, see how you do.
Brad: Yup, that's what I like.
Bob: The thing about that, Brad, is you're actually strengthening the plantar fascia, too. So you're strengthening the bottom of the foot. And so you're going to be less likely to develop plantar fasciitis if you haven't. If you have it already, again, no pain. I don't want pain. I don't like pain. Don't go into the pain cave.
Brad: Now also, this is great for balance. As you can see, I'm challenged. So for those of us who have balance issues, or if you're over 50 you will get balance issues. It’s a good bet on that. But I like the incline board. I use these all the time. So that's an option.
Bob: Well, you made that one.
Brad: Well, yeah, this is one I did make. They sell them all over the place.
Bob: Brad is very handy, by the way. So next one. Now, with all these, like the hip flexor stretch, you can use a pillow.
Brad: Oh, yes. You do not need a Pete's Choice.
Bob: I'm using a Pete's Choice. Now, these are nice.
Brad: Yeah, I'd like to meet Pete.
Bob: I would too. He seems like a nice guy. So the next one is, again, you could do this with a pillow. And we're doing three different main exercises, but we're stretching the pecs while we're doing this, too. So I'm down, my head's down, you might even have a pillow or a rolled towel under your forehead. But you're going to go, first the field goal. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. And we're going to do ten of them that way.
Bob: Then I'm going to go to the cross. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. And we're going to do ten of them that way.
Brad: So, you mentioned this but you're stretching the front, the pecs, and you're strengthening these really important postural muscles in the back.
Bob: Yup. And then we're doing the reverse "Y". And I go palm down on all these, Brad. I know sometimes they go thumbs-up, and they do them in different ways. But I'm going to just keep it simple. Again, you go to bed, and you’ve got good posture when you're in bed, and that carries through the whole night.
Brad: It opens things up, it really helps you breathe, too.
Bob: All right, I'm going to do the cat/camel stretch now, Brad. Now, this is one where we're actually probably separating the stretch and the strengthening. So cat/camel is, and again, Brad and I don't know which one is the cat and which one is the camel. Anyway, we're getting good mobility in the back. I'm bringing my head down when I bring my back up. So now, Dr. Stuart McGill, he's a big advocate of this one. And he's the back guru.
Brad: Right, right.
Bob: I mean; he knows everything about backs. All right, the next one is the pointer dog, Brad. So, very simple. Go opposite arm, opposite leg.
Brad: And notice he's keeping his back straight. He doesn't let it arch and sag. So you really have to tighten your abdominal muscles in the front, and then the back. I like this because it works on both sides, the anterior and posterior muscles.
Bob: I have a little more trouble on one side, I don't know why.
Brad: Plus, you're working balance, and some core, and some things that you really need to stay fit.
Bob: Yup, very good. Again, we're going to do sets of ten with all of these. Hold for ten seconds, or count to ten. Which is not really ten seconds. All right. Brad, last one. Hamstring contract/relax. Do you want to do that on the mat? We’re going to use a belt. You do get a nice belt with the Pete’s Choice balance pad, but you can use any belt, or you can use a rolled sheet.
Brad: If you have a belt that you can make a loop with that's handy dandy. You know; those stretch straps are much better but you don’t need one. So I'm going to keep the knee straight to isolate the hamstrings. The other leg can go up or down, whatever you're comfortable with. Down will give you a little more hamstring stretch. But I'm going to go up, it feels better on my back. And I'm going to go up and get to the point where you feel a stretch. Now I'm going to push my leg back down to the table, but I'm going to hold it with this hand.
Bob: Yup, so he's not allowing it to move at all.
Brad: Right. So now I'm doing the contract. Tighten, tighten, tighten. And I'm going to hold that for about five to ten seconds. And then I'm going to relax, completely relax. And go a little bit farther with the stretch and hold. And while you do this, it's really critical that you breathe. In your nose, out your mouth. And as you breathe out, that's when I, personally, think about going up a little farther and allowing that muscle to stretch.
Bob: Again, I really like this exercise, because you're also strengthening the hamstring at the same time you're stretching it. And you're strengthening it in a lengthened position, which helps prevent injury. Specifically, eccentric contraction.
Brad: Right. Exactly.
Bob: It helps prevent, you know, you get those high hamstring tears or those mid hamstring tears. And this'll play a small role in helping that.
Brad: Right. I was dealing with that, Bob, in the last year or two.
Bob: I remember that.
Brad: Yeah. And they seem to be improving because I'm running now with really no hamstring concerns.
Bob: No problems. You were just in a triathlon!
Brad: I'm still afraid to sprint. You know, flat out sprint, because it's going to go just like that, I'm afraid.
Bob: Well, I think you have to work up to it.
Brad: Yeah, I know.
Bob: And you don't do that.
Brad: Well, right. Exactly. It's either on or off, but you know... Do we have another one to do? No that was five.
Bob: No that's five.
Brad: Most excellent. All right. Be careful with those hamstrings, you know they're going to make it or break it. So be nice to them, and work on everything here.
Bob: Oh, speaking of which, Brad. That’s our new saying now, "Let's help each other." We want our community out there, down in the comments below, when somebody makes a comment, help them out if you know something about it. We're all in this together. Life is tough.
Brad: And that happens already. It's nice to see someone say, "Oh, do this." Or "Do that." Because we just got so many comments, Bob and I, it's just impossible for us.
Bob: Right. We've got the nicest subscribers anywhere.
Brad: They are wonderful, it's just a blessing. So be careful and have fun.
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