Let’s be honest: stretching isn’t the most engaging part of a workout, and most of us don’t. We’d rather do a couple more exercises that make you sweat or burn a ton of calories and forget about stretching.
This approach can hardly be called reasonable: it deprives the body of the necessary flexibility, puts spokes in the wheels of athletic growth, provokes unnecessary pain with limited mobility in the joints and even leads to injuries!
This is why it is imperative to work on full-body flexibility on a consistent basis, especially if you train hard and hard with heavy weights.
Luckily, stretching shouldn’t take a lot of time. Just 10-15 minutes a day 2-3 times a week, and you enjoy a fundamentally different level of flexibility, and your body gets the necessary freedom of movement in all planes.
Incorporating these five stretches into your workout routine will help you feel free, mobile, and flexible in no time-consuming manner. Just be sure to do a little warm-up before passive stretching. A short dynamic warm-up will suffice.
Hold each pose for 30-45 seconds, doing one or two sets. Do not bring the matter to severe pain, do not spring during stretching, avoid sudden movements. And don’t forget to breathe!
Quads Stretch Runner Lunges
If you exercise a lot, or if you sit for long periods of the day, you’re almost guaranteed to have tight hip flexors. The deep lunge stretch works on both the hamstrings and quads, making it a surprisingly effective 2-in-1 exercise.
Get into a lunge position on your knee. The front leg is bent at a 90 degree angle, the knee is directly over the foot, and the other leg is extended back. Tighten your core and glute muscles, then slowly lean back, grab your back foot with your hand and pull it as close to your thigh as possible. Try to tense and then completely relax all the muscles during the stretch for a deeper effect. Be sure to work on both sides.
The basic yoga pose is a chic stretch to increase the flexibility of the pelvic complex that really works out your glutes. You will benefit regardless of your initial fitness level or training goals.
Cross one leg in front of you with the other leg extended behind you. Place both palms on the ground in front of you and slowly lower your torso as low as possible, keeping your pelvis and shoulders straight. Your goal is to get down on your forearms. If you’re still lacking flexibility, lean on your palms.
Bridge with raised feet
While most people are familiar with the normal bridge (also called the yoga wheel pose) with palms and feet on the floor, this variation of the raised feet helps to really develop the shoulders and upper back with an emphasis on the chest stretch. Since most of us have very tight shoulders, a raised foot bridge is a great way to keep our upper body free, flexible, and mobile without putting too much stress on the lower back.
Lie on your back with your feet on a platform, box, or other stable, raised surface. The higher the stand, the more your shoulders will stretch – and the harder it will be to climb into bridge pose. Place your hands on the floor wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes facing your feet. Push up on your arms, lifting your pelvis as high as possible and contracting your gluteal muscles. Breathe and rise smoothly on your shoulders, fixing your gaze on your fingertips.
If you do a lot of plyometric exercises or train intensely on leg day, you should devote some time to your hamstrings. Two variants of the classic peak stretching will help to solve this problem.
Sit on the floor with straight legs extended in front of you. Tighten your quads, draw in your abdomen, and lean forward as far as possible. Try to wrap your hands around your feet to get even lower.
For more advanced stretching, do the exercise near a wall; this will raise the degree of stretching of the muscles of the back to a qualitatively new level. I warn you in advance: if you have tight thigh muscles (most people have them), this exercise will be accompanied by pain at first. But it’s worth it!
Stand against a wall with your feet together, then lean forward with your arms crossed over your head and rest your back against the wall. Slide down the wall slowly, keeping your legs as straight as possible. The closer you stand to the wall, the more you stretch your hamstrings.
Cross stretch for chest and back
Most athletes in training do a lot of back and forth movements, but very few rotations. This stretch helps open your back and chest at the same time by rotating your torso. The cross is an incredibly effective full-body stretch, but avoid this exercise if you have had intervertebral disc or lower back injuries in the past.
Lie on your stomach with one hand extended to the side. Turn to the opposite side of your outstretched arm and roll onto your side, being careful not to put undue stress on your shoulders. Bend your upper leg in front of you, allowing your foot to touch the ground. The more you twist, the more you open up your chest and back muscles. Breathe evenly and remember to work both sides.