Physical Education Curriculum and Lesson Plans
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Stretching Basics

  • Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds. Repeat up to three times if desired.
  • Always warm up BEFORE you stretch to get those muscles pliable!
  • No quick or jerky movements, stretch to the EDGE of pain, not to the point of pain.
  • Relax …  breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth.

Neck stretch

In a sitting position legs crossed, slowly move the head to the left, hold. Slowly move the head to the right, hold. Slowly move the head forward, hold for 5 sec.

Side and Shoulder Stretch

Interlock fingers and stretch arms above your head with the palms of the hands facing the sky. Slowly push hands slightly back and up.

Release, lower arms and clasp hands behind the back. Lift as high as comfortably possible, and hold.

Shoulder and Triceps Stretch

While Standing, slowly raise the left arm above the head, place left hand down the back and pull on the left elbow with the right hand, hold for 5 sec.  Switch arms, right arm above the head, place right hand down the back and pull on the right elbow with the left hand, hold.

Shoulder and Chest Stretch

Slowly extend both arms behind the back and interlock fingers. With the palms facing inwards slowly raise the arms upward.  Hold for 5 sec.

Standing Side Stretch (External obloquies)

Stand with feet a little more than shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.  Slowly reach the Left arm above the head and place the right hand on the thigh.  Slowly bend from the hips to the right side. Hold for 5 sec. Maintain body in the same plane. Repeat on the opposite side.

Upper Back Stretch

Take your right arm across your body at shoulder height and place your right hand around your back. With your left hand gently pull your right arm further around your body, Hold for 5 sec.  Repeat on the opposite side.

Standing Groin Stretch

Stand with the feet about a meter apart and the left foot one-step forward, hold. Keeping the right leg straight and the foot on the floor bend the left knee at a 90 deg. Angle, hold for 5 sec.  Repeat on the opposite side.

Standing Calf Stretch

Keeping the left leg straight, bend the right leg, with the left hand slowly reach down and touch your left toe (lift the left toe), hold for 5 sec. Ensure that the heel of the back leg remains on the ground.  Switch legs and repeat on the opposite side.

Variation: Have both legs together and straight, thus stretching both legs at the same time.

Thigh Stretch  (Quadriceps)

Stand on the left leg, with the right hand grasp the left ankle and slowly pull into the buttock. To increase the stretch draw the knee back and extend the hip a little further hold for 5 sec. Switch legs and repeat on the opposite side.  If balancing on one leg is difficult, it may be necessary to find a support such as a partner.

STRETCHING (Importance of stretching)

Stretching is important in maintaining the muscle’s pliability and length. When a muscle shortens, the ability to perform a task involving that muscle decreases which can increase the risk if injury. This is especially noticeable in the low back region. Tightness of the upper back, lower back, hamstrings, and calves can increase the risk of pain and injury to the spine. Maintaining the muscle’s proper length and pliability allows the body to maintain the proper biomechanical position, and decreases the possibility for injury. The stretches should be performed slowly and deliberately. Stretch until mild tension is felt. Hold the stretch position 5 to 10 seconds. Then relax. Repeat stretches on the opposite side when needed. All movements are gently but progressively increased.

Remember these techniques:

No quick or jerky movements. Be as relaxed as possible. It is easier to stretch and strengthen a relaxed muscle versus a tight one.

Stretch until you feel mild tension. Never take a stretch past the point of tension, strain or pain.


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