Making time to stretch at the end of your training is vital. It can assist with making you stronger, more flexible as well as reducing the risk of injury. By stretching the muscles it will loosen them, helping to release the tension and return them to their original state.
You know that tight sore feeling you get in a morning after you've worked out ? That can be dramatically reduced if you stretch properly !!
When stretching you need to think about what muscles you have worked - be specific about it and take your time, rushing will cause more harm than good.
Below I have shared with you stretches you should be incorporating into your training. Some are more specific than others.
Hold each of these for 20-30 secs. Rest and then repeat. Unless stated otherwise
Make sure to do both sides ;)
1/ Forward bend standing:
*Roll down vertebrae at a time from standing to get into this position
*Relax the neck
*Keep a slight bend in the knees
2/Forward bend seated:
* Sitting on top of the sit bones raise your arms above your head and pull up and over.
*Reaching to touch your toes - it doesn't matter if you can't
*Keep the legs straight and lean forward
*Standing tall lift your arms up reaching to the ceiling before slowly leaning to the side
*Repeat on the other side
*make sure you are flat on to the front and not twisted in any way
1/ Abdominal stretch:
* Laying face down on the floor place your hand by your shoulders and push up
*Relax your shoulders down and keep a slight bend in the elbows
*Pull up and lift the pelvis off the floor
If you have a lower back problem take the stretch lower and lay on your elbows to push up
2/ Downward dog:
*Keep the pelvis lifted, aim to get your heels on the floor whilst pushing back through your hands
*Try to keep your arms and legs straight
*Relax the neck
3/Cat and Cow
*Really push your back up into a curve scooping your stomach in
*Then release through into an arch
*Hold each one for about 15 secs before fluidly transitioning to the other - for 3-5 times through
1/ Adductors (inner thigh):
*Soles of the feet together
*the aim is to try to get your knees to touch the floor you can use your elbows to help.
*Sitting tall on your sit bones lift yourself up and forward keeping a flat back as much as possible.
2/ Extended Adductor stretch
*Keep the knees pointing upwards
*Flat back as much as possible
Make sure you are sitting on top of your sit bones and you reach up before you go forward
3/ Seated hamstring stretch
*with a side bend and facing towards the foot
*Keep a light bend in the extended leg
*Both bum cheeks on the floor as you lean
*Keep the back leg straight and foot relaxed on the ground whilst bending the front leg.
*Sit yourself tall and lean slightly forward as shown in the picture
*For the deeper glute stretch lean right over making sure you can feel the stretch along the back of your glute
2/Laying hamstring and hip flexor stretch:
*First hug the knee into the chest the slowly extend the leg
*Hold at the thigh or the calve never at the knee.
*Try to keep a slight bend in the knew but no more than that
*Keep the bottom leg straight and on the floor (easier method is to ned at the knee keeping the foot flat on the floor - this won't work the hip flexor as much)
3/Laying glute stretch
*relax the top leg and hook your arms around the lower leg to pull towards you
*Keep the back on the floor and shoulders relaxed
*To make it easier place the bottom leg at a 90 degree angle on the floor and hold.
*Keep the back leg straight and heel on the floor
*Send your weight forward back straight as you place your hands on your bent leg
*Keep the knees together as you send your weight back
*The front foot can be left on the floor but lifting the toes will increase the stretch and add a little calf one as well.
*Always place your hands on the bent leg
*Knees together and pelvis pushed slightly forward
*Arm outstretched for balance
*If you cant hold your foot feel free to grab your trouser leg or hold your leg bent at 90 degrees behind you
1/ Across the chest shoulder stretch
*Keep the shoulders relax and the arm at shoulder height.
*Pull the outstretched arm towards yourself with the other arm
2/ Laying back twist
*Keep both shoulder blades on the floor
*Make sure you look the opposite way to your knee to feel the twist.
*Relax into it hold no tension
*Raise the arm above your head then reach the hand down toward the middle of your shoulder blades.
*push on the upper arm to extend the stretch
*For a further stretch take the other arm up your back and clasp hands
1/ Upper back
*Push into the upper curve extending the arms in front of your body
*Relax your neck
*Slight bend in the arms
*Place the hands on the sacrum, rolling the shoulders back and push.
*keep the back and neck as straight as you can
A couple un pictured ones:
*Childs pose - Begin on the knees like the above pictures. Lay the body over and slide the hands forwards until you are flat. Push the bum back to feel the stretch in the back.
*Pec stretch - Place on arm flat against a wall with your body facing forwards and push into it
I hope this has helped