Odaley, chico, here is my happy daily routine! Woo hoo!
It is important to keep in mind NOT to stretch to the point of PAIN.
Minor discomfort is fine; searing pain no es bueno. So, don't stress it if you can't put your feet behind your head... all in good time! Hold each stretch for between a minute and three minutes. Doing this routine every day is great, three times a week should be the minimum if you plan to do other physical stuff.
There are lots of variations and additional stretches you can throw into this routine; you can even do the steps in completely different orders. Just don't overdo it -- the idea is to NOT kill your body, to slowly make yourself flexible. Take yer time. Relax. RELAX. Never tense a muscle that you're trying to stretch. RE - LAX!
- Sit on the floor, straighten out your legs, and grab your ankles. Try to keep your back as straight as possible during this one.
- Tuck your left foot in, put your right leg out, and grab your right ankle. Repeat on the other side.
- Kick both your legs out as far apart as you can. After a minute of so --
It is very good if you re-adjust your leg spread between each of the above exercises (wider, not narrower!!)
- Touch your chest to the ground. If this is impossible, put your hands behind you and push your upper body forward.
- Touch your right shoulder down to your right knee; repeat other side.
- Grab your right ankle; repeat other side.
- Chest down forward one more time.
- Right after 3, bring your feet in to your waist (slowly!) as if you are going to do the butterfly stretch. This action should BURN like a mutha. Move your knees from side to side; ah, this should feel GREAT.
- Legs out in front one more time, grab ankles again.
- Replicate 5, but at 90 degrees -- stand up and touch your hands to the ground. Keep your legs straight.
- Walk your hands forward, end up with your butt up in the air. Let gravity pull your heels down (as much as possible)
- Lunge forward with your right leg. Try to get your right foot in front of your right knee. After a minute, reach behind with your right hand and pull your heel to your butt.
- Lock out both your legs; this is like #6, but your right foot is in front now.
- Bend your front knee, get back into position 7.
- Repeat 8, 9 and 10 with your left side.
- Slowly walk your hands back into a hang, just like #6.
- Stand up; put your hands on your knees and rotate your knees around in little circles.
- Put your hands on your hips; rotate your hips around in big circles.
Switch direction. Try to keep your head in one place the whole time.
- Spread your feet twice-shoulder-width apart; hang down. Do trunk rotations; Circle your hands up and over your head and down the other side in a huge arc. When your hands are over your head, try to keep your hands in back of your head; nice back stretch. AAaaaaah. Oh yeah, watch your hands the entire time -- develops good balance.
- Swing your arms around in front of you in big circles. Swing them behind. Swing 'em side to side, behind your back. Touch your hands behind you if you can.
- Lock your right arm across your chest with your left. Switch sides. Get your shoulder out of your ear!
- Put your right elbow up above your head, put your right hand behind your head, down your spine. Hold your elbow in place with your left hand. Switch sides. Duh.
- Ah, happy! Shake out your whole body.
Hope this helps. This routine really doesn't take too much time; I tend to spend twenty minutes a day stretching, more if I can. Also, find ways to work stretching into your daily life; i.e. While waiting for NetScape to download a big pic, do three of the stretches above, etc.