2) Shoulder Circles / Windmill Arms -- 1 minute
LOWER BODY WARMUP
4) Elbow-Knee Touches -- 1 minute
5) "Butt Kicking" 1 minute
Once you are all warmed up, move right to the static stretches.
6) Tree / Door Jamb Chest Stretch, 20 sec.
Hip flexors frequently are tight in those people who spend lots of time sitting, (whether at work or in a kayak) and over extended periods of time, they can pull your body into improper posture, resulting in lower back pain if not resolved. Hip flexors are involved in repetitive motions that involve lifting the leg forward—such as hiking, walking uphill, and step aerobics. To keep them stretched out, try the following stretch using your body weight. Stride forward with one leg, coming up on the toes of the leg behind you, and lower your torso until front leg is at a right angle, knee just at or behind shoelaces. Hold onto a tree or wall, if you need help with balance. Keep your torso erect, and slowly extend both arms overhead, reaching fingers to the sky and looking up toward hands. Press the hip forward until you feel a good stretch right at the bend in your forward hip. An option is to turn the foot out, as shown (a modification of the Warrior posture in yoga) with insole of the foot flat against the ground.
8) Frog Stretch, 20 sec.
It’s a great stretch for thighs, hips, calves, and lower back. With hands out in front of you and feet and knees turned out so they remain in alignment, squat down as low as possible keeping heels flat on the floor. (If your heels pop up, try stretching your tight calves on a stair step with ball of the foot on the step and one heel pressing down toward the floor, hold 15 seconds.) Press knees open with elbows to prepare hips and legs for climbs that involve facing into the wall with legs spread far apart. Be persistent with this and with time you should see dramatic improvement.
BACK OF BODY STRETCHES
9) Spinal Rotation Stretch, 20 sec.
With these general warm-up and stretching exercises completed, your body will be much better prepared for participation in any and all summer activities with less likelihood of muscle strain or stiffness. As you start out, take it easy for the first 10-15 minutes or so, getting the body more thoroughly warmed up in the moves specific to your chosen activity. Finally, once you are finished with your adventure, you may be ready to go for beers, sodas, or pizza--but take just a few short minutes to run through the last 5 stretching exercises. This will help you increase your range of motion while the body is still warm, and leave you more limber than when you started. It also will help prevent stiffness that often sets in following a long car ride. Believe me, your body will thank you for it.