Head, shoulders, knees and toes stretches

Hi everyone. Joanna here from Cram Osteopaths. It’s the new year and lots of us are feeling a bit stiff and sore either from inactivity or having started at a new gym. We thought we’d give you something simple that you can work through as a whole body stretch and the song that comes to mind is head, shoulders, knees, and toes. A really quick, simple routine that you can do, so that you’ve pretty much stretched all the key areas of the body.

For the head part, we’re going to stand or sit nice and tall. Imagine with the top of the head that you’re pushing the head up to the ceiling and you’re going to feel that through the back of the neck and also a little bit through the shoulders. Hold it for a few seconds and release, repeat a few times. My favourite shoulder stretch, many of you will see me do this. Squeezing the shoulders up to the earlobes, and back down and also rolling the shoulders backwards. Then we go down to our knees, which are often forgotten about. A really lovely stretch I do with knees involves grabbing a hand towel. You’re going to roll it up into a sausage shape and then while sat down, making sure that your feet are flat on the floor for the start position. Bring the hand towel under the knee and hold either side, turn your toes to the outside and gently pull your heel towards your bottom, repeat about three to five times on both sides. You won’t feel a huge stretch when you do this, but it is a lovely way of stretching through a complicated joint.

The final one is toes, with your toes you’re going to give them a good point straight and then down towards the ground, if you are prone to cramp, it can be a bit strong so don’t do it quite as much. Then resting your leg down and using the big toe as a guide you’re going to draw a figure of eight with your big toe, all your other toes will spread apart and move, you’ll also get a nice stretch through your foot and your ankle. Repeat eight figures of eight on each side. That should get you all sorted, a nice whole body stretch, just sing that song to yourself to remind you of what you’re doing.

I hope that helps everyone and Happy new year.