Stretching Exercises

28 Jan No Comments Guest Blogger Fitness

Stretching Exercises For Fitness

personal trainer onlineWhether you are exercising or feeling fit, one thing is certain: stretching can help you. While most people consider stretching just one of the many fitness exercises available to them, it has a number of benefits that should be considered if you want to improve your overall health.

Time and again, research has shown that performing the right stretching exercises before and after training is very helpful in injury prevention. By preparing muscles properly for training, dynamic stretching can improve the range of motion and reduce injuries by helping muscles achieve full functionality. With the effect of lengthening the muscles, stretching promotes a full range of joint movements. To achieve this, you need flexibility, and stretching keeps your joints flexible, strong, and healthy.

Some exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home such as kettlebell full body exercises, weight training and even a workout using your home gym on a Multi Gym all require stretching to ensure you are getting the most out of your workout.

Read on to learn how to incorporate flexibility exercises into your routine and discover the best routine for your whole body. You can benefit from different stretches by compiling a list of post-workout stretches that you need to do for different parts of the body. Here, we will teach you how to do good flexibility and stretching exercises to reduce muscle and joint pain.

Stretching exercises can increase the flexibility and range of movement of your most inflexible muscles by focusing on problem muscles.

Some workouts require more cooling down time than others such as heavy weight sets or where you are exercising a weak body part, follow them with a long form of stretching exercise. Stretch for about 5 – 10 minutes per session and concentrate on the muscles that are currently to be or have been exercised. Repeat the same stretches you did in the warm up in the post workout to cool your body and increase flexibility while your muscles are still warm.

Static or Dynamic Stretching?

online personal trainerDynamic Stretching is mobile stretches such as lunge walk and walking knee to chest. Whereas Static Stretching involves holding a stretch with no other movement such as a an overhead tricep stretch or a seated butterfly stretch.

According to the current findings, static stretching improves the range of motion even more and may even be somewhat better than dynamic stretching. This being said Dynamic stretches help you warm up ready for exercise.

Both stretching methods increase flexibility, and there are many simple stretching exercises that you can try at home.

Read on to find out which stretching exercises are best for warming up, cooling down and improving your general fitness. As mentioned before, working out some routes immediately before training is one of the most convenient times to incorporate flexibility training, but it will certainly not hurt you if it is not already part of your training plan. If you only do stretching exercises on a given day, do a light 5-minute jog to warm up your muscles before exercising (pump arms first, do not stretch cold muscles). This warms the muscles up by heating them during stretching without stretching them.

Examples of Static Stretches:

Hamstring Stretch:

While sitting on the floor put both legs out straight. Bend forward from the waist as far as possible keeping the hands as your side on the floor. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds.  Relax back and repeat 3 times.

Calf Stretch:

Face close to a wall, stand with one the in front of the other knees bent , place your hands flat against the wall, at shoulder height. Now slide your back leg further away from the wall while keeping your leg straight and press the heel onto the floor. You should feel tightening in the half of the rear leg. Hold this for 15 – 30 seconds then relax and repeat 3 times.

Shoulder Stretch:

Stand straight, feet apart just over shoulder length, with the knees bent a touch. Put your right arm flat against the front of your chest. Bend the left arm up and use the forearm to ease up the right arm and hold it close to your chest. Hold for 15 – 30 Seconds, repeat with the alternative arm, completing 2 sets per arm.

Thigh and Hip Stretch:

Stand with your legs two times your shoulder lengths apart, lung forward and hold with your front leg bent forward, your rear leg with you shin parallel to the ground with the knee just off the ground. Hold for 15 – 30 Seconds and repeat alternative legs for 2 sets each leg.

Examples of Dynamic Stretches:

Walking Lunge Stretch:

Walk forwards, lunch forward with one leg while bending both knees while keeping your upper body straight. Repeat in a lunging walking motion. Do 4 sets of 5 each leg as a warm up and cool down exercise.

Knee to Chest Stretch:

Lie on your back, knees bent. Bring one knee up into your hands and pull the knee gently toward your chest. Hold for 15-20 seconds and then lower. Relax and repeat with the other leg, doing a set of 2 each leg.

Jump Squat Stretches:

Stand with feet around hip distance apart, feet slightly splayed outwards. Squat down on your haunches while holding your core and spine braced and solid. As your hips lowers just below your knees, push your heels to the floor and jump up as high as you can. Land softly balance and repeat for 10 for the start working up to higher numbers with practice.

Add Resistance Bands the the mix:

Another training option, which you can use at home, is to integrate a resistance bands (also called “resistance tubes”) into your training experience. Lying, scissor-stretching and standing are just some of the exercises that can be tried out. When you do a floor stretching exercise, include these stretches in your theme (try stretching on your four-legged friends to see what you think) or try stretching while lying down.

Keep up the stretches and feel the benefits!

An exercise program that includes targeted stretching 2-3 times a week is an additional help to maintain your flexibility. Just a few minutes a day can also help to increase your daily stretching exercises, so that you benefit from your functional range of motion during training and in everyday life. It can make a big difference if you take a few minutes every day to improve your flexibility with a few stretching exercises.

Taking a yoga or pilates class is also a great way to add some much needed stretching, loosen the body, fill the muscles with blood and even help with much needed relaxation. Regardless of your fitness level, stretching is a valuable activity to add to your daily workout routine. Stretching should be an essential part of your routine, so next time you cool down after your 8fit workout, try your stretching routine. If you need a quick energy boost, a few minutes of stretching can help you in the long run.