Try these moves

Here are some warm-up tips by Assistant Professor Benjamin Soon, who is in charge of a new physiotherapy programme at the Singapore Institute of Technology. The moves are demonstrated by silat exponent Haziqah Haron.

Side bending while sitting

Sit with the right leg extended to the side, and the left knee bent. Bend your body to the right and touch the toes of your right foot with your left hand. At the same time, use your right hand to reach for the left knee. Relax your neck muscles when doing the stretch. Hold the position for eight seconds. Switch sides and repeat. This stretches the shoulder, back muscles and torso, as well as the hamstrings and calf muscles.

Standing calf stretch

Stand with one leg in front of the other in a forward stance. Bend the knee of the leg that is in front, while keeping the back leg straight. Make sure that both feet are pointing forward and the heel of the back leg is firmly planted on the floor. Rest your hands on the forward thigh and keep your back straight. Hold the stretch for eight seconds. Switch legs and repeat. This stretches the calf muscles and the gluteus (buttock) muscles.

Standing quadriceps stretch

Stand upright. Bend your left knee such that your left ankle is lifted towards the back of the leg. Hold the left foot with your left hand while balancing on the other foot. Slowly pull your left foot towards your buttocks. Maintain an upright posture during the stretch. Hold the stretch for eight seconds. Switch legs and repeat. This stretches the quadriceps muscles.

Standing buttocks stretch

Stand upright. Lift your right leg upwards towards your abdomen. Using both hands, firmly grip the shin of your right leg. Pull your right knee further up and towards the body, while maintaining your balance and keeping your body upright. Hold the stretch for eight seconds. Switch legs and repeat. This stretches the gluteus muscles.

Triceps stretch

Pull your left arm across your chest by cradling the elbow in the crook of your right arm. Pull your left arm slightly towards you with your right arm until you feel a firm stretch on the left shoulder. Hold the position for eight seconds. Switch arms and repeat. This stretches the triceps and part of the deltoid muscles in the shoulders.

Neck stretch

Look forward and drop your head sideways by bringing your right ear close to your right shoulder. Using your right hand, apply some pressure to pull your head closer towards the right shoulder. Do not raise your left shoulder. Hold the stretch for eight seconds. Switch side and repeat. Avoid doing this if you experience dizziness or flashes during the stretch. This move stretches the top part of the shoulders and neck muscles.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2015, with the headline 'Try these moves'. Print Edition | Subscribe