The Brettzel Stretch

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The Brettzel Stretch

This outstanding stretch is recommended by almost every corrective exercise specialist, physical therapy and conditioning coach I know.

brettzelThis is an excellent total body stretch to improve your mobility and hence reduce your risk of injury. It targets your quads, hip flexors, piriformis and low back. It’s also an outstanding stretch to improve your thoracic spine mobility, a common dysfunction. Many shoulder mobility limitations are related to poor thoracic mobility so this stretch will aid in improvement.

Begin by lying on your left side with your head on a pillow or towel so your head is in neutral alignment.

Pull your right knee up toward your chest as far as possible so the angle between your torso and hips is less than 90 degrees. Hold your right knee with your left hand.

Now bend your left knee and bring your left foot toward your left glute and reach back with your right hand to pull the left foot/heel toward your left glute. (If you can’t get a hold of your foot on the left side (in this example), try using a rope or stretching strap to assist in pulling the foot up).

Pull foot gently. Keep your neck in a relaxed and neutral position. Finally, perform a slow controlled shoulder turn to the right while allowing the head eyes to follow. Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds while practicing slow controlled breathing. Perform 2-3 repetitions, and then repeat the on the other side.

Do not force through any pain at any time.

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