So earlier this week, on #WorkoutWednesday I talked a little about the importance of stretching. For a refresher, here are some things that I mentioned to my Instagram fam about STRETCHING...
"If you stretch correctly and regularly,
you will find that every
movement you make
...Most of us sit 8-10 hours a day, we walk and carry heavy loads constantly, and our bodies are screaming for a good-deep stretch! There are many many benefits of stretching that will ultimately make your body feel 100% better than before! Stretching can...
- Decrease Stress
- Reduce Pain and Stiffness in the Body
- Enhance Range of Motion
- Reduce Risk of Injury
- Enhance Performance
- Minimize wear and tear on joints
- Improve Quality of Life!
Rules to Stretching...
Now, you can't just drop into a stretch and hold for a second, without knowing the rules of stretching. It just doesn't work that way!
- Stretch as much as you can! --when you wake up, before bed, during a lunch break, and during exercise.
- Never force yourself into a stretch. You must transition between each stretch very slowly. Forcing can cause terrible pain!
- Monitor the tension in each stretch. You may feel a mild pull or tension in your stretching, but NEVER stretch through discomfort! If you start to feel unbearable pain, scale back on that stretch and go for a modification, or transition into a new stretch.
- Take deep breaths during your stretching. Deep breathing allows for relaxation and increases the intensity of your stretch.
- A good-deep stretch is held for at least 10-30 seconds!
Inhale (through your nose) x Exhale (through your mouth)
Here's a few stretches I like to do during the week!
This stretch is great for any activity that gives your thighs a workout. This stretch can be done in a free standing position, or holding on to the back of a chair, for balance and support.
Low Lunge Stretch
This stretch is great for stretching your hip flexors. Great for relieving tension in your hips. If you need knee support, and an extra fluff from a yoga mat, or roll up a towel for comfort.
Standing Forward Bend
This stretch is great for the back, especially your lower back. If you want to make this stretch a little easier, separate your feet hip distance, and lower slowly into the stretch, placing your hands on the floor. If you have difficulty placing your hands on the floor, place yoga blocks underneath your hands, or a stack of books!
This position will stretch your hamstring (rear-muscle behind your thigh), as well as your lower back. For the supine position, you will lay down on your back, extending your leg upward.
Flat Back/Flat Road
Cat Back Stretch
For this stretch, start on your hands and knees. This stretch is broken down in two parts (notice the A and B images at the top). (A) Start with your knees and hands shoulder-width apart. (B) Then pull your abs in, arch your back and flex your spine. Allow your head to drop between your shoulders. Hold this for 10-15 seconds. Release with an exhale, back to position (A).
Overhead Shoulder/Tricep Stretch
This flexibility stretch is great for any upper body or shoulder movement. To perform, you will take your arm overhead, holding at the elbow to stretch shoulder and tricep (A). This stretch can also be done by taking the arm overhead, without holding the elbow (B).
Try these stretches out today and every day, and let me know how it makes your body feel! Have any other tips or tricks you do while stretching, comment below!