Top Five Stretches to Maximize Your Workout
Let's be honest, how often to you skip your pre and post workout stretching? I'm definitely guilty of it from time to time. It's easy to justify skipping your stretching because it adds time to your workout, and well, we've all got busy schedules. But, reality is, stretching is just as important as the exercise itself.
Stretching adds so many benefits to your workout, such as increased movement, better blood flow, improved balance, it also decreases your chance of injury, and also helps you to have less aches and tightness after working out.
Below are five of my favorite workout stretches.
1) Hamstring and Calves
Sit with on the floor with your leg stretched out straight and the other bent. Rotate the straight leg inwards and lean forward at the hips. Hold for at least 10-15 seconds. Repeat with your other leg.
2) Butterfly Stretch - Groin
Sit up straight with the soles of your feet pressed together. Drop your knees to your sides, but not so far that it is uncomfortable. Hold your feet with your hands and slowly pull yourself forward.
3) Glute Stretch
Sitting on the floor or in a chair, cross one leg so that the foot is resting on the opposite knee. Lean forward until you feel the stretch in your buttocks. Hold this for at least 10-15 seconds. To increase the stretch gently put down on your knee. Repeat with the other leg.
4) Triceps Stretch
Stand up tall and extend one arm above your head. Bend that arm at the elbow and place your opposite hand on your bent elbow, gently pushing. Hold for at least 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
5) Cobra (Abdominal) Stretch
Lay on a mat or cushioned surface on your stomach. Push your arms up, lifting the front part of your body. Be sure to keep your palms flat on the ground. Inhale deeply and exhale. Do this for about 30 seconds.
Always focus on the muscles that are the most tight. And, modify stretches to your ability so that you don't hurt yourself. In order to maximize your flexibility, try to have one half hour stretching session of Yoga or Pilates a week. Remember stretch now, to prevent injury later.