26. Supine Twist
Muscles emphasized: glutes and external obliques. This stretch is especially good and beneficial for people who suffer from sciatica pain and try to get rid of it. Begin by lying flat on your back and then bring one leg across your body, and gradually rotate your gaze and upper body in the opposite direction. What’s important about this stretch is the fact that you use your breath to open up your rib cage and sacroiliac joint and hip area without putting too much pressure on the lower back. If this stretch is too hard for you, stack both of your knees on top of each other, and when you are positioned this way you will feel more stretch on the upper spine when the knees are higher, and more stretch on the lumbar spine when the knees are lower.
27. Lateral Flexion with a Dowel
Muscles emphasized: external obliques and latissimus dorsi. Keeping your spine long, gradually push your hips out to the side while keeping your shoulders rotated outwardly. In case you have problems with your lower back, do not perform this stretch.
28. Triangle Pose
Muscles emphasized: external obliques. Begin with a wide stand and with your front foot straight ahead, and your back foot at 90 degrees. Put your hand on your front leg or on the floor, and sit back into your front hip, keeping your back straight. Rotate away from your front leg and maintain your look on the hand that it is in the air.
29. Chest Stretch at the Wall
Muscles emphasized: pectorals. For starters, face the wall with your thumb up. Gradually rotate away from the wall in order to stretch your chest muscle. This stretch should be felt in the belly of the muscle, but be careful not to stretch too far, as it will result in a pain in the shoulder joint.
30. Assisted Chest Stretch
Muscles emphasized: chest and latissimus dorsi. Begin by lying down on the floor and holding your palms faced up. Your partner should be seated in a deep squat and hold your hands, thus, you are supposed to feel a stretch in your chest and lats. The stretch should also cause some traction in your spine. If you have shoulder impingement, do not perform this stretch.
31. Seated half Pigeon Variation
Muscles emphasized: anterior tibialis. Begin by sitting with your feet positioned in front of you. Put one hand behind you and rotate your hip outwardly and put one foot above your knee. If you want to add to the stretch on your hip, gradually lean forwardly and start the movement by hinging at the hips.
32. Supine Shoulder External Rotation
Stretch Muscles emphasized: subscapularis. Begin by lying flat on your back. Then, place your arm straight out to the side with your elbow at an angle of 90 degrees. Next, gradually bring the back of your hand to the floor. If you cannot bring your hand close to the floor, and it is still far away, it means that your rotator cuff and other muscles that control internal rotation are tight.
33. Down Dog Variation at the Wall
Muscles emphasized: pectorals and latissimus dorsi. Stand far enough from a wall or rack so that when you touch the wall your body gets into parallel position to the ground. Move into this position by pivoting at the hips and make sure your spine is straight all the time. Once in this position, move your chest forward and make a slight arch in your upper back and stretch your lats and chest muscles. If your hamstrings are tight, try bending at the knees.
34. Assisted Chest Stretch Variation
Muscles emphasized: pectorals. Lye down on the floor with your face down and your palms faced down. Your partner should pull your hands back and you should feel a deep stretch in your chest muscles. In case you have a shoulder impingement, do not perform this stretch.
35. Standing Upper Trapezius Stretch
Muscles Highlighted: Upper Trapezius Muscle. Stand erect and move your hands behind your lower back. Grasp your right wrist with your left hand. Pull your right arm as far as possible to the left. Your hands should be in back, or just outside of, your left hip. Lower your head sideways, toward your left shoulder, until you feel the stretch in your neck. Maintain the stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat it on the opposite side.
36. Standing Upper Back Extension
Muscles Highlighted: The Teres Major, Rhomboid and Upper Trapezius Muscles. Stand erect and place your feet close next to each other. Extend your arms in front of you with your fingers interlaced and your palms facing forward. Lowering your head slightly forwards, push your hands frontward while exhaling, allowing your back to arch slightly while your knees are bending. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.
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