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Stretches

- Dynamic stretching is the kind you do before a workout, these stretches are to warm up muscles and get your body ready to move. Static stretches are used to elongate a muscle (otherwise known as allowing the muscle to go back to it's normal resting pose). All the stretches I recommend are Static stretches, because my job is to get your muscles back to their normal resting relaxed state.
 
- These stretches are best to do after you're already warmed up like after a work out, after a nice warm shower, first thing in the morning when you are nice and warm from bed, after a massage, etc.
 
- It is important to ease into the stretch, no bouncing or stretching so much that the muscle is burning. Ease into it, stop when you feel the start of the stretch/burn sensation. Every time you do the stretch you'll notice you can go further and further. 
Neck pain or stiffness,
try these stretches or exercises every day. I find it's best for me to do them when I first wake up in the morning and before I go to bed at night. If you're at a desk all day, it might be better for you to try them throughout your work day. 
 
Stretches for Sternocleidomastoid or SCM (front of the neck) - https://youtu.be/PoT3_99nxSk
If you are at a desk all day, we start to get that head forward posture which happens to be a major function of this muscle. It is also probably the most effected muscle for a whiplash injury.
 
Stretches for Levator Scapulae (back of neck) https://youtu.be/Y5SAKcsUGXE
This muscle seems to be a major player in headaches and in my over 10 years in this field, I have probably only worked on 5 clients that this muscle was not extremely tight on. Several clients have a giant "knot" at the attachment site on the scapula.
 
Stretches for pectoralis (front of shoulders/chest) https://youtu.be/bO224K6mS2c
The pectoralis major and minor work with the rhomboids (between the shoulder blades) to keep the shoulders in a "normal" position. If the pec muscles are extremely tight, then those rhomboids have to work that much harder to keep your shoulders pulled back which is why clients will say their back hurts in that area. So if you stretch the pec's out it will take the pressure off of the muscles in the back. 
 
Strengthening the back of the neck & shoulders https://youtu.be/SLfXiM5ENzU
This just makes sense to do. Stretch out the front and strengthen the back to aid your body in keeping you in alignment and out of pain.

Hip pain (including sciatic pain)
The hips have the largest muscle group in the body with a total of 12 different muscles on each side. 
 
Iliotibial Band (lateral or outside of thigh)    https://youtu.be/9AZHU_WEypI
The IT Band starts in the hips, and if this tendonous sheath is tight it can pull on your hips or knees causing pain.





 

Glutes and/or Piriformis (hips)    https://youtu.be/0kjmpvC9ijY
The piriformis muscle is the only one to run directly over the top of the sciatic nerve as it makes its way from your low back through the bum down your leg. If this muscle is chronic (or always) tight, it can explain your sciatic pain. 
 







Iliopsoas (lower abdomen, front of hips)   https://youtu.be/sHyi1_fHJYo
This muscle (it's actually 2 - the psoas & the iliacus) gets overly tight when you sit at a desk all day, it gets overused if you love to run or hike. It's basically a great stretch for everyone! Note : I don't think you have to get down into as deep of a lunge as the video shows. If you feel a stretch in more of a standing position, then start there and work towards the deep lunge stance. 








 
Sacrum release exercise    https://youtu.be/6OBWHXpAh3Y
Foam rollers are awesome, and this video shows a great stretch for the ligaments that connect the sacrum to the ilium (hip bone).
 








Quads (front of thighs)   https://youtu.be/2hKbghN2fUE
The Quadriceps muscles are a huge muscle group. They start in different places on the hip, but all come together in a common tendon that attaches below the knee at the tibial tuberosity (it's basically a bump in the middle of the tibia bone just an inch or so below the knee). These muscles can get extremely tight if you sit at a desk all day (and many, many other reasons). Each one can cause referral pain that effects the hip, thigh, &/or knee, which might let you know which muscle is causing the problem. Foam rolling these muscles can be extremely effective and luckily fairly simple for most people, as well as stretching them out but they are often overlooked until they are causing you major pain. Make foam rolling a part of your bedtime or after work-out routine, you'll see an improvement in pain






Adductors (insides of thighs)   https://youtu.be/zoZRViwgbwA
These are the Hip Adductor muscles, they attach at the pubic bone/femur down past the knee and their job is to Adduct the leg ("add" or pull the leg in towards the middle of the body/the other leg).
If you have chronic sacroiliac (SI) pain or glute pain or even sciatic pain, these muscles could be the root cause. The muscles in your bum or lateral hip flexors move the leg out away from the body. So the Hip flexors and the adductors work opposite of each other. If one is tight, the other is working that much harder to put you back into balance. If you have a dysfunction within the SI joint, these adductors will be tight. If you walk pigeon-toed, these muscles will be tight. If you are a stomach sleeper, with one leg pulled up & out - you guessed it, these muscles are probably extremely tight.







Carpal Tunnel or wrist/hand or elbow pain
 
Forearms (both extensors and flexors)   https://youtu.be/EcEqdPrkKYM
The forearm extensors - there are several muscles in there & guess what? They all get tight! Especially if you work at a computer or are behind the wheel of a car all day - it's like you are working-out these muscles all day. These are to blame for tennis elbow (golfers elbow is on the other side of the elbow), which is basically tendonitis in one or more of these muscles. Icing at the attachment points on the elbow and wrist will help get that inflammation out (tendonitis = inflammation of tendons).

  Disclaimer:
 I am not a doctor, I can not diagnose problems or prescribe stretches or Foam Roller exercises to you. The above links are just suggestions that might  help you in between massages. If you have any medical conditions, please contact your doctor to make sure any stretches  would be appropriate for you before you try them. And as always, if you are trying a stretch and it is extremely painful please  stop doing the stretch. 

Plantar Fascitis pain
 
When you buy boneless skinless chicken breasts at the store, you'll notice they have this white filmy stuff. That is fascia.
We have this same stuff running through our bodies also. It wraps around muscles and organs, and it can get "knotted" or tight just like a muscle. Plantar fascia, which is just the fascia on the bottom of the feet, can be extremely painful when this happens.
Plantar fascitis means inflammation of the fascia on the bottom of the feet. This can happen from shoes that are not supportive enough, it can happen from being too active (walking, running, playing sports, etc.) without stretching afterwards or many other reasons.
Freezing a water bottle, getting a special tool or just using a ball of some kind (tennis, baseball, golf ball - depending on your tolerance) and rolling your foot on it with light to moderate pressure can be helpful. Stretching out the feet and lower legs on a consistent basis will be extremely helpful as well. 

Try these stretches to help   https://youtu.be/kStuJAu0a20