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Chances are, you’re cruising around New Zealand in your wheels of choice to either jump from bridges, hike mountains, frollick through the vineyards, visit the local pub or all of the above.
Whichever may be your cup of tea, you best stretch your tight buttocks and back when you stop for a cup of tea. You wouldn’t want to pull a hammie before your sledging escapades, would you?
After extensive research, we present to you our second series of stretches (with a fun twist to their names of course). This way you can stay loose and limber for anything, whether it be a stand up paddle adventure with dolphins or a late night dance party. And if you missed Part 1 of this post, then you can check it out here
POP A SQUAT
-Stretch out your ankles, calves, groin, and lower back!
-Though passerby’s might get the wrong impression of what you’re up to, this is quite a restorative and soothing pose.
-With heels turned in, toes out, lower down to ‘pop a squat’ with heels low to the ground.
-If this is too tight, widen stance.
-Lengthen your spine, sitting up as tall as possible, keeping your chest lifted.
-Place hands at heart center, tuck elbows inside of knees and press outward for a deeper stretch through the inner thighs.
This picture was taken at the center of New Zealand, in Nelson. There’s no better place to spread ‘em, right?
-Ease up any backaches.
-Calms the brain from all the insanity you’ve been up to.
-Stretches your hamstrings, inner thighs, and spine.
-This can be done with arms your straight out to your side, but with the arms clasped behind your back you get a better stretch for your shoulders and chest. Yay!
-Legs wide, feet parallel.
-Interlace fingers behind you (if this is too tight, clasp opposite elbows).
-With a flat back, hinge at hips forward.
-Shift weight into toes, bend knees if it’s too tight in the hamstrings.
-To deepen the stretch, engage your quads, drawing your kneecaps upwards.
-Relax your head (yes, your neck is tense).
SUPERSTAR (with a chest expansion)
Have you ever seen Saturday Night Live’s Mary Katherine Gallagher by Molly Shannon? Well you should, and then this reference would make a lot more sense.
-Opens up your chest and shoulders after all that kayaking, mountain biking, and driving.
-Give your hips some love, they deserve it! This is an amazing stretch for your hip flexors and quads.
-Strengthens your thighs, abdominals, glutes.
-Improves balance (so when you walk along the narrow ledge of the Auckland Sky Tower over 1000 feet in the air, you’ll be able to strike a yoga pose, no problem!).
-Place right leg forward into a lunge position.
-Front knee is directly over your ankle.
-Back heel is lifted.
-Hips and shoulders squared off towards the front.
-If too tight in the hips or back, bend your back knee (as seen here).
-Draw your tailbone under slightly to avoid over arching your back.
-Either lift arms high to the sky (a proper “Superstar” pose) or interlace hands behind your back for a chest expansion (as seen here).
*SPECIAL NOTE: Don’t forget to give your vehicle a hug. In our case our wheels of choice were a JUCY!
These awesome stretches and tips were brought to you by Jaime Komer. Jaime Komer is a certified yoga, pilates, and spin instructor, and an Olympic Silver Medalist in Water Polo. You might see her testing out her own crazy stretches while traversing New Zealand’s roads in JUCY’s Coco the Social Cabana. Her most recent adventure: The Sweaty New Zealand Challenge at www.athleteyogitraveler.com.