After workouts and even on days off, it’s important to stretch and take care of your body. More often than not, I see people who are more than happy to commit to an hour, maybe even more, to their workout but then completely skip over their pre and post workout stretches. Why is this a mistake?
Stretching keeps your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy- flexibility is imperative to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, muscles become tight, then weak, and are unable to perform the functions they were designed to do. (You don't want that).
Some top areas to focus on stretching:
🔹 The Hips:
One of the most common issues people face is hip tightness. The glutes should be the primary muscles used for hip extension, but this can often be restricted because of tight hip flexors. Some great stretches to combat this are the pigeon stretch, psoas stretch, butterfly stretch, and keeling lunge.
🔹 Upper Back and Arms:
Whether you are hunched at a computer all day, carry your child around, haul around a heavy backpack: we tend to carry so much of our stress in our neck and shoulders, causing tightness, stiffness and pain. Loosen up these muscles with tricep stretches, head tilts, and shoulder stretches.
Our hamstrings tend to get really tight after being sedentary, especially if you tend to walk a lot. Try downward facing dog, leg extension, and the seated hamstring stretch.
Try to avoid pulsing while stretching, be sure to breathe, and on every exhale, stretch a little farther. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and repeat twice through for effective progress with your flexibility.