Corrective Flexibility

FLEXIBILITY is an essential  component of fitness.  Corrective flexibility, specifically uses the foam rolling technique or Self Myofacial Release (SMR) and static stretching. Static or corrective flexibility (shown below) is where everyone should start!  This is a form of stretching you can always come back to as it is safe and effective.  This can be done every day and should always be done after working out.

Flight crews in particular are at high risk for postural imbalances due to the demands of the job.  For Pilots, sitting for long periods of time is a major part of your job.  Not only can this lead to decreased neuromuscular efficiency it can also lead to upper cross syndrome: weakening and lengthening of the upper-back and neck muscles, and the tightening and shortening of the opposing muscles…broadly put: chest.

Flight attendants on the other hand have it a little better due to the nature of the job: moving around the cabin.  However, this can increase the risk of repetitive movement injuries or start a cumulative injury cycle by consistently doing the same task with altered form because of tight muscles.  First use the Foam roller (SMR) and follow  with the stretches below and you will be on your way to a healthier, happier body!

 

 

 

CALF (GASTROCNEMIUS/SOLEUS)

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Position:
1. Place hands on the ground in front of you. Fingers spread wide
2. Push through your palms, lifting your hips and pulling your chest back
3. Right foot resting on Left

Action:
1. Draw Belly Button in, keeping core tight
2. Push heel to ground keeping leg straight except for a slight bend in the knee – (Gastrocnemius)
3. Bend knee while pushing heel to ground and hold stretch (soleus)

Hold each stretch for about 20-30 seconds. Repeat on other side

*this can also be done standing. Simple place hands on a wall in front or you and step one leg back, keeping the knee and foot straight and heel on the floor. Bend arms and lean forward (not allowing arch to flatten), keeping food grounded and buttocks and quads tight. Hold.

 

HAMSTRING

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Position:
1. Lie on your back with one foot in the air, a slight bend in the knee and foot flexed. The other leg should be straight out on the ground.
2. Place a strap/towel or belt over your foot or grab your calf with your hands.

Action:
1. Gently pull your leg toward your body. If you can flex your quads. This causes reciprical inhibition (by tightening a muscle on one side of the body (Quads), the opposing muscle must relax and lengthen (hamstring).

Hold for 20-30 seconds.

 

LOW BACK

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Position:
1. Lie on ground, face up with feet on the ground and arms in a “T”.

Action:
1. Drop legs to one side keeping both shoulder blades on the ground.

Hold for about 20-30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

*To make this deeper you can wrap your top leg over and under your bottom leg
OR
**Leave the leg extended with a strap/towel or belt to hold the foot.

 

PIRIFORMIS

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Position:
1. Lie on your back, both feet on the ground
2. Place your right ankle on your left knee, flexing your Right foot

Action:
1. Grab your left leg with your hands and pull toward you
2. Use your right elbow to push against your right leg, getting a deeper
stretch

Hold each stretch for about 20-30 seconds. Repeat on other side

* you can also do this stretch sitting up or on a bench. Keep your chest up and core tight. Place your feet in the same position and lean forward.

 

LOW BACK AND GLUTES

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Position:
1. Start in a seated position and place your right leg over your left, with your right foot on the ground.
2. Make sure to keep god posture and keep your chest up, no rounding especially in the low back.

Action:
1. Bend your left arm and place your left elbow on the outside of your
knee.
2. Support yourself with your right arm placing it behind your right hip.
3. Push against your knee with your left arm as far as is comfortable.

Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side

 

HIP FLEXOR (PSOAS)

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Position:
1. Kneel on the ground. Keep back leg bent at 90 degree angle and bend
front knee with foot on the ground at a 90 degree angle.
2. Slightly tuck pelvis under (internally rotate back hip).

Action:
1. Keep core tight and draw belly button in.
2. Squeeze butt on the side being stretched (knee that is on the ground)
3. Slowly lean/move body forward until you feel a stretch in the front of
the hip.
4. To progress the stretch deeper, raise your arm on the side being
stretched and slightly bend to the opposite side, while slightly rotating
hip back.

Hold each stretch for about 20-30 seconds, or until pain eases.
Repeat on other side.

 

GLUTES/HAMSTRINGS/IT BAND/PSOAS/QUADS & HELPS RELIEVE SCIATICA & LOW BACK PAIN.

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Position:
1. Place your front lower leg crossway’s in front of you.
2. Stretch your other leg back behind you as far as you can. Keep your hips centered and slightly push your legs into the ground.
3. support yourself on your hands or Lean forward onto your elbows to deepen the stretch.

Hold this for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side

* If you are flexible enough and it does not hurt you can grab your foot with your hand to get a great quad stretch in the resting leg.

 

STANDING QUADRICEPS

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Position:
1. Stand with feet hip width distance apart. Chest up, core tight and hips
level.
2. Grab your right ankle with your right hand and flex your right foot.

Action:
1. Slightly tuck your pelvis under (increasing the stretch in your quads)
and keep your knees by each other.

Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on other side

 

SHOULDER

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Position:
1. Stand in a neutral stance (hips level).

Action:
1. Bring your right arms across your body.
2. Keep your shoulder low and wrap your left arm over your right, pulling it into the body.

Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side

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