Exercises that expand your range of motion and improve flexibility should be part of the workout for everyone. These exercises are aimed at improving and maintaining your ability to fully move your joints. Flexibility exercises also help maintain muscle elasticity, as well as tendons and ligaments, making them less likely to become stressed and injured. Stretching exercises and range of motion are especially important for people with rheumatoid arthritis disease, whose mobility may become limited due to voluntary and involuntary restriction of joint movement. In this article, we will consider stretching exercises for muscles and joints. Joint and muscle stretching exercises
With limited movement, a vicious cycle may begin due to stiffness or pain in the joints. Less movement can lead to muscle loss or atrophy, which will lead to a deterioration in the condition of the joints, as well as a further decrease in muscle mass. This downward spiral is difficult to reverse. Therefore, when it comes to preventing the deterioration of the joints and muscles, remember the often repeated phrase: “Use them or lose!
Joint and muscle stretching exercises
Since stretching is a relatively calm form of exercise that is not usually associated with heavy breathing or sweating, you may be tempted to skip simple stretching as part of your daily workout. Nevertheless, it is important to include them as part of your daily life.
Many types of stretch marks can lengthen your muscles and cause your joints to go through the entire range of motion. Exercises such as yoga are designed to gently stretch various parts of your body.
Here are some simple stretch marks for different muscles and joints throughout the body. Your doctor, nurse or physiotherapist will be able to give you many more stretching exercises to meet your specific needs.
Hand and wrist.
Try this exercise, both to stretch and to strengthen your wrists and fingers.
- Start by clenching your fist with your hand, then with one quick movement, pull all your fingers straight away, straightening your fingers.
- Put your fingers back in your fist again.
- Repeat this 5 times with each hand.
Shoulders and upper back.
This exercise can be used to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the upper back and shoulders.
- Start by kneeling on your exercise mat with your face looking straight down at the mat (keep your head and neck parallel to the mat). If you have knee problems, you can place a folded towel or blanket under your knees for an extra pillow.
- Gradually and slowly reach your right hand in front, keeping your hand parallel to the floor and at an approximate ear level. Point your fingers straight.
- Maintain this position, counting to 5, and then slowly return your hand back so that your hand returns to the mat again.
- Repeat this 10 times for each hand (of course, you can do less to get started, with the goal of working up to 10).
Side of your body .
This stretching exercise focuses on the back muscles on the sides of your torso and is useful if you have tight or stiff muscles in this area and are prone to cramping. Muscle and joint stretching exercises:
- Start standing and feet wide. Stand up relaxed and upright.
- Place your right hand on the waist above the hip, with your thumb in the direction of the back and forefinger forward.
- Pull your left hand over your head, palm to the right. Try to keep your shoulders level.
- Begin to bend sideways to the right, bending at the waist. Allow your right hand to gently slide down beyond your thigh. Move-in the same plane until your left-hand reaches your head and shoulders.
- You should feel a soft stretch in your torso and down the left side. Remember to breathe and hold the stretch to count to 5.
- Move slowly when you return to your original vertical position. Allow your left hand to slide down on your side.
- Repeat the exercise for the other side of your body.
Use this area to lengthen and loosen the hamstrings (the muscles opposite the hips on the back of the leg) by stretching the lower back. Muscle and joint stretching exercises:
- Start by lying on your back on an exercise mat with your hands down on your sides. Bend your knees (only partially) and place your feet on the mat. You can place a folded blanket under your knees if it makes you feel more comfortable.
- Slowly bend the right knee and lift it to the body until you can reach and wrap your arms around the hamstring. If you have difficulty reaching, you can use a folded towel or yoga strap to reach your upper leg.
- Extend your leg while keeping your foot toward the ceiling. Try to straighten your leg. If you cannot straighten it, loosen the grip on your hip and do not pull too close to your chest.
- Once you can straighten your leg, hold it and count 5.
- Slowly and gradually lower your right foot back onto the mat.
- Repeat the exercise with your left foot.