What You Need
In order to do these stretches, all you need is the following:
Flat wall, and
A bit of room.
So without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Height Maximizing Stretch #1: Body Twisters
So, how can you free up your core?
By doing the Body Twisters.
This stretch loosens up your abdominals and side oblique muscles, which are at the front part of your core.
Here is how you do the Body Twisters:
1. Lie down on your mat, and extend your body fully by putting your arms and hands above your head, and your legs straight.
2. Twist your body by bringing your left leg towards your right side, and at the same time, bring both of your arms to the left side of your body, while turning your head towards your left side as well.
When you do this, make sure to stretch your body all the way. You should feel a good stretch on the right side of your abs and obliques.
3. Go back to your original position, and repeat the exact same movement the other way. When you switch directions, you should feel a good stretch on the left side of your abs and obliques.
4. Repeat this movement both ways for 10 repetitions. Make sure to go slowly, so that you can fully stretch out your tight abdominal and oblique muscles.
Height Maximizing Stretch #2: Nod-And-Shake
You neck muscles also tend to get very tight as you sit all day .
And the Nod-And-Shake helps you loosen and free up your neck muscles.
Now, this stretch has 2 parts to it:
1. Nod, and
(That was pretty obvious…)
The Nod focuses on loosening the front and back part of your neck, and the Shake focuses on loosening the left and right side of your neck (such as your trapezius).
First, here is how you do the Nod:
1. Sit on your yoga mat, with your legs extended in front of you, and your hands on the ground, with your fingers pointing to your sides.
2. Look up towards the ceiling, and hold this position for a second. At this point, you should feel a good stretch in the muscles below your chin.
3. Bring your chin down as far as you can, and look down to the floor. Hold this position for about a second. This should stretch the back part of your neck.
4. Repeat this up and down movement with your neck for 10 repetitions.
Next, here is how you do the Shake:
1. Turn your head towards your left side as far as you can. When you’ve reached your limit, hold this position for about 1 second.
2. Turn your head towards your right side, and once again, turn as much as possible. When you’ve reached your limit, hold this position for about 1 second.
3. Just like the Nod, you want to repeat this movement for 10 repetitions on each side.
Also, remember to keep your chin relatively low when you do this stretch.
Height Maximizing Stretch #3: Magic Circles
When you sit and slouch, your shoulders tend to become round, which causes your chest muscles to become very short and tight .
And the Magic Circles will help you loosen up your tight chest muscles (also called your pectoralis major and minor).
Here is how you do the Magic Circles:
1. Stand on your feet at shoulder-width apart.
2. Extend your arms fully to your sides, with your palms facing up.
3. Slowly move your arms in a circular direction. Repeat this circular motion 10 times.
When you’re making these circles, make sure that you reach as far as you can towards your sides. That way, you’ll feel your chest muscles being fully stretched during every repetition.
4. Change directions, and once again, repeat this circular movement in the opposite direction, 10 times.
Remember to stretch out your arms as far as you can, and you’ll get much more out of this stretch.
Height Maximizing Stretch #4: Wall Reach
I’m sure that you use one hand, one arm, or one leg, much more than the other.
And over time, this can cause one side of your body to become much tighter than the other, which can bring your spine out of its proper alignment .
And the Wall Reach will help you balance out the left and right side of your body, by stretching out your serratus anterior, latissimus dorsi, and external obliques.
Here is how you do the Wall Reach:
1. Stand in front of a flat wall, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure that your toes, thighs, stomach, chest, and your chin are all touching the wall.
2. Raise your right arm, and make a circle until your right hand reaches the top. Reach as far as you can, but make sure that your feet stay flat on the ground.
3. After you hold this position for 2 to 3 seconds, bring your right arm back down.
4. Repeat this movement 2 more times, for a total of 3 repetitions.
And remember to keep your entire body against the wall at all times. This will ensure that you’re stretching the muscles that need to be stretched.
5. Repeat the same movement for your left arm, for a total of 3 repetitions.
Quick note: If you notice that one side of your body is shorter than the other, hold the stretch longer for your shorter side.
For example, if you use your right hand more than your left, you’ll find that your right side is slightly tighter and shorter than your left side.
And if that’s the case, make sure to stretch out your right side longer than your left.
6. Turn to your left side, and place the entire right side of your body against the wall.
7. Bring your right arm in front of you, and make a circle until your right hand reaches the top.
8. After holding this position for 2 to 3 seconds, bring your right arm back down. Repeat this movement 2 more times, for a total of 3 repetitions.
Once again, make sure to reach as high as you possibly can, while keeping both of your feet flat on the floor. This will help you fully stretch out your body.
9. Turn around, and place the entire left side of your body against the wall. Repeat the same exact movement for your left side, for a total of 3 repetitions.
10. Turn your body so that your back is touching the wall. Make sure that the heel of your feet, your butt, the upper part of your back, and your head are all touching the wall.
11. Raise both of your arms at the same time, and create a circle until your hands reach the top. Remember to keep your feet flat on the floor, and stretch out your body as much as you can.
12. After you hold this position for 2 to 3 seconds, bring your arms back down. Repeat this movement 2 more times, for a total of 3 repetitions.
And there you have it!
Remember: Safety First!
As I mentioned in the guide:
When you do these stretches, remember to distinguish good pain vs bad pain.
Like with any new workout routine, it’s going to be normal to feel sore when you first do these stretches.
And if you feel sore, that’s GOOD pain.
But, if you ever feel any weird type of pain in your bones or joints, that’s BAD pain, and you should stop immediately.
Although these exercises are designed to help you become taller and healthier, you should never force anything that doesn’t feel right.
Remember: Safety first!