Bob's Severe Stretches

Don't pull too hard. Frequency is better than force.

    The Video! (35 meg)

Opposite Direction
On your back, knees bent. Lean knees over on direction and look the opposite direction. Hold for a while. Repeat.

Knee Over
On your back. Bent right hip and knee bent at 90 degrees. Move right knee over to your left, near the floor. You can push with your left hand if you need to. Don't push any harder than is comfortable. Then push a little with your hips back to the right, holding your knee in place. This will stretch a hip muscle when you get it right. Hold it for 10 or 30 seconds. Do both sides.

Ham String (or something close)
On your back, right leg straight, left knee bent comfortably about 90 degrees. Put a towel across the ball of your right foot, and hold the ends with both hands. Pull your right leg up using the towel, keeping your leg straight and your foot pointed flat or a little up. Hold it for 30 seconds. Don't pull too hard or your back will be sore. It's better to do this more often pulling gently, holding it longer. This exercise felt really awful when I started doing it, but it's helped my back and my knee a LOT. For extra credit -- move your leg left and right while stretching. But don't pull too hard when it feels wrong.

Figure Four
Pull your right ankle up with your left hand and bend your knee. Don't pull too hard. Hold it there, then pull your knee/thigh in with your right forearm. It should stretch a muscle across your rear end. Don't pull your angle too hard or it will make your knee sore -- it's just to position your leg. The stretching force is applied at your knee and thigh.

Heel (plantar fascia)
If you have a sore heel in the morning from running or walking too much, you can help it by stretching against a door frame several times a day. Wear tennis shoes. Find a door frame with carpet if possible. Put the ball of your foot on the vertical part of the door frame. Scoot your heel up to the door frame so your foot is at a 63.7 (+/- 20) degree angle from horizontal. Push your knee toward the door frame and hold it. Do it both with the knee bent and with the knee straight -- it stretches two different parts that way. Don't push so hard that the front of your ankle hurts.

Upper Back
Sit with your legs out front. Lean forward. Put your left hand on the back of your head and gently pull it about 45 degrees to your left until you feel the muscle in your upper back stretching. If it gets tight (pulls back against you) release it and do it again. Don't pull too hard or you can do more damage than good. Also, be really careful if you do this one in the morning.

Upper Back 2
I think I left this off the video. Stand with your feet spread farther than your shoulders. Put your right hand above your left knee, fingers on the outside of your thigh, and use that arm to pull your right shoulder down and across. It won't move a lot, but you should feel the muscles stretching.

ITB Band
I think I left his off the video. Stand. Cross your legs, with your feet a foot or two apart, right leg behind the left, both legs fairly straight. Put your hands on your head with your elbows out. Lean over to the left so you can feel the tendon down your right side stretching. Hold it. Then do the other side (with your left leg behind.) You can hold something for balance with the hand on your non-stretching side if you need to.