In exercise of any form one thing they all have in common is the need to stretch. You bend you twist, and you pull. In the beginning stretching can be one of the things you may like the least because you are making yourself uncomfortable. Can you bend over and touch your toes? I can! To be truthful the only way I can do this is if I bend my knees. With the injuries I sustained do to abuse has caused me not to be very flexible. I have a reverse curve of my cervical column which compresses my ulnar nerve and led to adult onset scoliosis. I have to stretch daily and get regular chiropractic treatments so I can walk upright. I have to admit that I do not do my stretches as much as i should. Why not? It hurts. Yet this pain is actually good for me. It keeps my muscles from locking up on me and keeps me moving.
Okay what made me think about all of this today? I was reading a post by Dan Ledwith here on his blog which I hope you will check out if you have not already read his posts.
The post I read this morning was this one –
The photo in this blog was of a church message board and it definitely caught my attention and reminded me I need to stretch today. Not just my body though. i need to stretch myself spiritually. What does this mean to me? It means that I need to get out of my comfort zone and push forward a little harder. I don’t want to become spiritually stagnate, which is something I had written about in a Bible study lesson which I titled ‘Bread and Water’ which you can read here –
It also reminded me of martial arts training and how we had to stretch for lengthy periods of time before our training and lesson began. I once could do the splits and kick higher than my own head. The flexibility stretching gave our bodies helped us move more freely and swiftly. It also gave us the ability to move our body out of the way from a hit without having to move our feet. Which I can now incorporate in my relationship with Jesus. Even when under attack I can move without stepping off of my sure foundation which Is Jesus Christ. I can stand upon His promises and they guide me in what direction I should move.
Are you comfortable sitting on the sidelines watching others play the game, or being the wall flower sitting on the edge of the dance floor not dancing yourself? Do you want to get in the game and tackle the giants you are facing? Do you want to get up and dance because the life He gave to you gives you reason to even dance in the rain?
Okay then, get up! Stretch those muscles. Even runners stretch before the race, and we do have a race to run.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV – Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
Philippians 3:13-14 ESV – Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 40:31 ESV – But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Do you have a verse that encourages you to run the race and stretch yourself? Please share it with us.
Here you can find some good stretching exercises
Hip Flexor/Quad Stretch
Kneel on floor with both knees bent, shins on floor. Lunge right leg forward, so right knee is bent 90 degrees in front of you, right foot is flat on floor directly under knee, and left leg is still bent underneath you, parallel to right. Place both hands on top of right knee and press back hip forward, leaning into stretch, keeping torso upright. Hold for 30 seconds; release. Do three reps; switch legs and repeat.
Stretches hip flexors, quads, hamstrings
Seated Trunk Twist
Sit tall on floor, abs engaged, and legs extended and together in front of you. Rotate ribcage to right, keeping nose in line with breastbone and abs engaged. Lift ribcage off hips to rotate further to right, growing taller, twisting as far as possible. Return to center; repeat to left to complete one rep. Do 10 reps, holding final twists for 30 seconds each.
Stretches back, abs, obliques
Bridge With Leg Reach
Lie faceup on floor with knees bent 90 degrees, feet flat on floor, arms extended by sides. Extend right leg in front of you, and then slowly lift hips toward ceiling until you form a diagonal line from right knee to right shoulder, pressing upper back into floor and opening up chest. Lift right leg straight up toward ceiling; lower. Do 10 controlled reps, holding the last rep for 10 seconds. Switch legs; repeat.
Stretches chest, abs, hip flexors, glutes, legs