Forward folds close the joints.
They squeese blood out of the joint - allowing it to return
when the joint is returned to a neutral position.
As well as stretching the extensor muscles, these poses
prevent calcium deposits on the inner joint surfaces.
Many of these poses can be done by pressing the relevant
digits against a surface. Sometimes the upper thigh can be
used - but any convenient surface will do.
Forward fold : wrist
The wrist is the largest joint, deserves preferential
treatment - and is usually dealt with first.
The fingers should not be flexed at the same time - that's a
Forward fold : index finger : first knuckle
The first knuckle - when healthy - will take a good deal of force.
Forward fold : index finger : second knuckle
Forward fold : index finger : third knuckle
One method here is to keep the proximal and distal phalanges
parallel, and slide them parallel to one another to stretch
the third joint.
Forward fold : all joints
This is a compound stretch involving all the knuckle joints
and the wrist. It is intended to stretch long
muscles - rather than individual joints.
You have a fair bit of leverage here - and the stretched
muscles are relatively few - exercise some caution.
This should normally be performed last. If time is tight
you can skip ahead to it - but then take it more gently.
- Stretching the fingers one at a time gives maximum leverage.
However, stretching several fingers at once saves time - and
can be attractive because of this.