Kneeling Reach-Around Stretch
- Kneel on all fours
- Lift one hand and reach towards your ankle
- Keep your back parallel to the ground
Primary muscles: Quadratus lumborum. External and internal obliques.
Secondary muscles: Iliocostalis lumborum. Intertransversarii. Rotatores. Multifidus.
Injury where stretch may be useful: Lower back muscle strain. Lower back ligament sprain. Abdominal muscle strain (obliques).
Note: Keep your back straight, parallel to the ground, and your thighs in a vertical position. Distribute your weight evenly on both your hands and knees.
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Scraping, a manual, ancient practice where pain points are worked with a gua sha (smooth-edged tool), reportedly increases blood flow by up to 400 per cent more than foam rolling and massage guns. By breaking up old, damaged blood vessels to promote new growth and healing, these tools are useful for getting into the nooks and crannies of a pain point, especially in delicate areas like along the shin muscles and under the foot.
Tim Tian has taken the scraper idea and supercharged it, creating a manual, triangular tool that blends heat and vibration therapy. “Cold blades stiffen muscles, blocking a deep release,” he says.
The heated scraper device takes just three seconds to reach 50ºC. This helps muscles soften, making it easier to massage away tension, increase blood flow and promote healing. The scraper is specially great for alleviating delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in the quads, and provides a relaxing switch-up from the foam roller slog.