Saturday, January 7, 2012

4 Full Body Stretching Workouts for Farm Workers

A farm worker spends his day lifting heavy objects such as hay bales and agricultural equipment, handling strong animals, bending, squatting and reaching. Such strenuous movements can lead to injury and pain. Fortunately, you can do a variety of stretching exercises before starting your work day to warm up the muscles and help prevent injury. Consult your doctor for suggestions specific to your condition or work, and if any work-related pain persists or worsens.
Neck Stretch Exercise
This stretch, suggested by the Women's Heart Foundation, can be performed before beginning strenuous farm activity, and repeated as necessary during the workday. Bend your neck forward as if you are going to touch your chin to the top of your chest. Hold for at least 15 seconds. Return your neck to the starting position and relax. Bend your head back until you feel the muscles in the neck stretch. Hold for 15 seconds, then bring your head upright to look straight ahead. Do a total of 10 repetitions.
Wrist and Hand Exercise
Rest your forearms on a steady surface. Use your left hand to gently push back on the palm of your right hand until you feel a stretch. Return to the starting position and then repeat up to 15 more times. Shake the wrists out, then return them to the flat surface, the Ohio State University Medical Center instructs. Switch hands and do up to 15 repetitions.
Lower-Body Exercise
Stand up straight and carefully lift your left knee up toward your chest until it forms a 90-degree angle. Bring your leg back to the starting position and repeat with your right knee. Continue alternating legs so you are marching in place. You can also do this exercise on your back by extending one leg and keeping the other knee bent upward. Gently hold the back of your thigh and pull your knee toward your chest. Alternate legs.
Upper-Body Exercise
Lace your fingers together, with your palms facing outward. Lift your arms out in front of you until they are at shoulder height. Hold for about 20 seconds, then slowly relax your arms. Repeat a second time. Next, bend your knees slightly and lift your arms up over your head. Grasp the elbow of your right arm with the palm of your left hand and gently pull your elbow behind your head. Lean to the side until you feel a stretch and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

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