One of the basic rules before you start your workout is to perform at least a few stretching routines. It is necessary to NEVER forget to stretch. You might have heard a lot of reminders from your trainer or your friends, especially when you are just starting at being active in working out, but they are actually good advice you shouldn’t ignore.
When you wake up in the morning and you tend to get all excited or panicky, you might miss one of the important rituals when it comes to fitness – which is stretching! In case you’ve skipped this part, there is a bigger chance you might feel achy all over after your workout. Your muscles will most likely be tight and overly strained because they are not properly ready and warmed-up. Failing to do so, is openly allowing yourself to aches, pains and chances of getting injured.
The Power of Stretching
In fitness, there are a lot of movements, twist and turns that completes a particular routine. You probably think that as long as you have the burning passion to work out, you are good to start any exercise. You are quite mistaken! It is because there is a progression for all things – just as how you need to learn how to walk before you can run and jump. So make sure to squeeze in the stretching in your daily workout routine. If you are worried how flexible your schedule can be, fret not! It will be quick and can only take a few minutes of your time.
With a various range of motions and poses, stretching can bring out the fullest potential of your body to take any exercise challenge head-on. By elevating the success rate of your workout, it targets your muscles and empowering it to be prepared in a different range of movements for your entire fitness or training program. It increases your blood circulation and favorable for your health as it also involves breathing. It also primarily enhances your flexibility skills which is one of the key factors needed to almost every exercise aside from speed, endurance, and accuracy in performance.
Even though you will use almost all of your muscles and entire body, there are specific stretching routines or poses designed for a particular muscle group. Combined with a definite breathing pattern, a pose or stretch routine lets you focus on a position while helping you calm your mind and invoke a relaxed state. Furthermore, it will fend off injuries and help you acquire better health as well.
Must-Know Stretch Routines
Whether you already know the basic stretching routines, it is beneficial to know the must-have stretches in your fitness program. Ensure to have at least one of two of the following because they will be a big help to build your body better.
- Prepare a yoga mat and a few small towels you can bound into a rolled, pillow-like shape. In case you have a rectangular-shaped foam on hand, you can use this one instead of the small towels.
- Place your left foot out front and elevate it using the small towel bound or the rectangular-shaped foam. The front leg must be in straight form while the other back leg is bent forming a middle split pose. It is important to keep the line of your front leg straight up to your knee.
- Alternate both legs. First, do the routine with your left leg in front and then switch it with your right left at the front the next time. But make sure that the foot of the front leg is elevated and your shin is supported by the small towel, yoga blocks or the rectangular-shaped foam.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
- Start this routine by standing straight with your feet hip-width apart. Slightly bend your knees while relaxing your arms at your sides.
- Slowly bend forward while exhaling at the same time. Your head must be lowered towards the floor but keep in mind that while doing this position, your shoulders, neck, and head are relaxed.
- Wrap your arms around the back of your legs – more like a gentle yet firm hold. Stay in that position for 45 seconds to 2 minutes. Then bend your knees and roll up once you’ve completed the routine. This mainly targets your neck, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
- This is a mountain-like pose wherein you will have to stand straight up and bend forward to create a pyramid shape.
- Start by standing straight with your feet together. Place one foot forward for about 3 to 4 feet behind your front heel. Make sure that your feet are not directly aligned with each other. So move your back foot slightly a few inches to the side to create a good balance for your body.
- Next, bring your arms forward, to either side of your front foot. Your chest will be lowered while your chin will be approximately around the top of your thighs.
- Stretch as much as you could wherein your fingers reach out for the front leg.
The Seated Back Twist
- This stretch routine starts in a sitting position wherein both of your legs are extended straight out in front.
- Gently bend your right knee then slowly step your right foot over your left leg. Place your right hand on the floor with your fingers pointing outward. This will support your body for balance.
- Bend your left elbow on your right knee. Then inhale as you start to twist your torso to the right and press your right leg to the left. Breathe out as you end your twist while your face is looking over your right shoulders and then slowly return to the center.
- This performs a spinal rotation so you must be gentle and yet stretch as much as your body is comfortable. Perform the routine for about five breathes.
Upper-Back Bridge Stretch
- Stand again a wall with your feet hip-width apart. Move forward face away from the wall so you will have enough space behind you to create a bridge like a form with your arms.
- Straighten your legs and reach out back to the wall with your arms above your shoulders. You will be in a backward bending position.
- Hold the position for 3 deep breathes and repeat three times. You will be stretching your back in this routine which primarily targets your upper back.
- For a level-up stretch, you can bend lower wherein your hands are closers to your feet. This will be targeting your lower back.
Reclining Angle Bound Pose
- Start by gently lying on your back.
- Simply place your soles together like when your hands are about to clap. This position will allow your knees to open up.
- Hold it as long as you can keep your knees close to the floor. It is recommended to count for around 30 minutes up to 2 minutes before you bend your knees back upright.
Work with one of these stretches and you will soon notice the difference of how your body can keep up with your intense workout. Master the stretching routines and you’ll be flexible enough to overcome any challenge and eventually reach your fitness goals!
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