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Stretch and Strengthen Zone

Complete the following stretch and strengthen exercises at least once daily, repeating each activity 10 times.

Jaw Jutting

Looking straight ahead, slowly draw your chin and head straight backward. Keep your jaw parallel to the floor and resist tipping your head back. Hold this “double-chin” stretch for 10 seconds, then release without jutting your jaw past your normal posture.

Backward Bend with Resistance

Bend your neck backwards very slightly. Place your hands on your forehead. Now try to push your head forward while resisting your hands. Hold for 10 seconds, then release.

Side Bends

Looking straight ahead, bend your head toward your left shoulder as if you are trying to touch your ear down without lifting your shoulder higher. For a deeper stretch, extend your Right arm with the hand flexed. Alternate sides. Hold each side for 10 seconds.

Shoulder Checks

Turn your head as far as possible to the left. Keep your chin parallel to the floor. Alternate sides, holding each side for 10 seconds.

Shoulder Check with Extension

Similar to the previous stretch, turn your head as far left as you can. Once there, extend your head to look up at the ceiling. Keep your jaw relaxed in this stretch. Alternate sides, holding for 10 seconds.

Shoulder Check with Flexion

Like the previous stretch, turn your head as far left as you can. Once there, nod your head to touch chin to chest. Keep your jaw relaxed in this stretch. Alternate sides, holding for 10 seconds.

Backwards Shoulder Rolls

Draw both of your shoulders back, down, forward and up in a circular motion. The key here is to do this exercise very slowly and methodically, concentrating on your efforts to the fullest throughout the entire circle.

Wall Angels

With your feet shoulder-width apart, stand with your back against a wall and your knees slightly bent. Tuck your pelvis. Raise your arms above your head. Slowly pull your arms down along the wall, maintaining contact with the wall the entire way down. Stop when your elbows are below your shoulders and slowly slide your arms back up to the top. 

Body Curl

Lying on your back, begin with feet on the floor and knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Slowly raise your knees toward your chest, while keeping your lower back and head pressed to the floor. Give yourself a gentle squeeze to further the stretch. Hold for 10 seconds, and release your feet back to the floor.

Single Knee Kiss

Starting on your back with legs extended in straight out in front, slowly raise one knee and hug into chest. Keep your head and lower back firmly pressed against the floor. Hold for 10 seconds then release and repeat with the other leg.

Pelvic Tilt

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly tilt your pelvis upward without lifting your entire back off the floor. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, then slowly lower back to the floor.

Shoulder Blade Pinch

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place each arm flat on the floor next to your shoulders with hands interlaced behind your head. Draw your shoulder blades together and hold for 10 seconds. Release.

Hamstring Stretch

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms at your side. Bring one knee toward your chest and cross that ankle on top of your other leg. Gently use your arm to push your knee out for a mild stretch. To deepen the stretch, remove your foot from the ground and hug that knee into your chest, with the other leg still bent over. Hold for 10 seconds, then slowly release. Repeat with other leg.

Low Back Twist

Lying on your back, bend your left leg and draw It up toward your chest. Draw it across your body and down toward the floor. You should feel a gentle stretch in the low back and glute. To deepen the stretch, use your right hand to gently press down on your left knee. Hold for 10 seconds and release, repeating with the right leg.

Elongation Stretch

Lying on your back with your legs straight in front of you, stretch your arms up and overhead. Reach your hands as far as they can do, and point your toes. Hold for 10 seconds, then release.

Toe Touches

Sitting upright with legs straight in front, slowly slide your hands along your legs toward your toes. When you reach the point where you feel a good stretch, stop and relax into the position. Hold for 10 seconds. Release.

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