Basic Tips To Stretch Properly

Stretching is not as easy as you might think. It is such a pivotal part of any workout routine; yet, many people don’t know how to do it properly.

Research has proven that bending and stretching, when wrongly done, can lead to fatal consequences.

You can skip all the research journals and check out the latest Tips To Stretch properly here.

Don’t stretch before a workout

Forget about stretching as a warm-up. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it does more harm than good. According to studies by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, stretching out longer than 60 seconds can affect exercise performance and results.

It doesn’t help to prevent injuries either. Stretching causes slack in muscles and tendons, easily decreasing the stability we all need to stay safe when swimming, cycling, running or doing any other workout.

Do warm-up instead

You can get your body exercise-ready by performing some easy-paced drills or cardio, skips, bodyweight squats, pushups, butt-kicks and so on).

Try to choose exercises that will reflect the moments you’ll perform in your workout routine.

Avoid stretching right after your workout

Stretching doesn’t always reduce post-exercise muscle soreness, as per extensive research. Another review published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal reveals that finishing a workout with stretching can impede muscle recovery.

The reason is that, while we stretch, the flow of blood to the muscles decreases.

Cool down!

Go easy after finishing your workout: focus on lowering your heart rate and getting blood where it needs to be. You can do this with 5 to 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise.

If you are feeling sore in the days after your workout, the best thing to do is swim, walk or try some light bodyweight exercises.

Stretch throughout the day

When you spend the day sitting at a desk, stretching throughout the day is important to increase muscle performance, increase flexibility, and prevent spine hunching of the spine.

You can easily do this by performing stretches focusing on the shoulders, lower back, neck, hands, and wrists, which will decrease the pain significantly.

Essential Stretching Routine

Stretching is essential for runners to improve flexibility, reduce muscle tightness, and prevent injuries. Here are 10 stretching exercises that can be beneficial for runners:

  1. Hamstring Stretch:
    • Sit on the floor with one leg extended straight and the other leg bent so that the sole of your foot is against the inner thigh of your extended leg.
    • Reach forward toward your toes, keeping your back straight.
  2. Quadriceps Stretch:
    • While standing, pull one foot toward your buttocks, holding your ankle with your hand.
    • Keep your knees close together and push your hips forward slightly to increase the stretch.
  3. Calf Stretch:
    • Stand facing a wall with one foot forward and the other foot back.
    • Keep the back leg straight and bend the front knee, leaning into the wall to feel the stretch in the calf of the back leg.
  4. Hip Flexor Stretch:
    • Kneel on one knee with the other foot in front, forming a 90-degree angle.
    • Lean forward slightly, feeling a stretch in the hip of the kneeling leg.
  5. IT Band Stretch:
    • While standing, cross one leg over the other and reach down toward the toes on the side of the crossed leg.
    • You should feel a stretch along the outer thigh and hip.
  6. Adductor Stretch:
    • Sit on the floor with your legs spread wide apart.
    • Lean forward, reaching toward one foot, then the other, to stretch the inner thighs.
  7. Glute Stretch:
    • Lie on your back and cross one ankle over the opposite knee.
    • Pull the lower knee toward your chest, feeling a stretch in the glutes.
  8. Dynamic Leg Swings:
    • Hold onto a stable surface and swing one leg forward and backwards, then side to side.
    • This helps improve dynamic flexibility and warms up the leg muscles.
  9. Ankle Alphabet:
    • Sit on the floor or in a chair and lift one foot off the ground.
    • Rotate your ankle in the shape of each letter of the alphabet to improve ankle mobility.
  10. Upper Body Twist:
    • While seated or standing, twist your upper body to one side, holding onto a stable surface for support.
    • This helps engage the core and improves spine flexibility.
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