Try This Whole-Body Stretching Routine
Stretching is a very important part of exercising, although many people overlook it. Carrying out a complete stretching routine can determine (or not) the success of any physical activity to decide to carry out regularly.
A full stretch should be done before and after every exercise routine. This is because:
- Stretching before exercise warms up the body, and this helps prevent injuries.
- Stretching after exercise reduces the stiffness associated with muscle activity.
A complete stretching routine
Today, we’ll help you discover how a complete stretching routine must be carried out. In addition, we’ll offer some tips that’ll allow you to carry it out the best way you can, in accordance with your needs.
Lower Body Stretches
The lower part of the body comprises the buttocks and the legs. It’s very important to stretch this part of the body correctly to prevent uncomfortable cramps.
There are many lower body stretches, but it’s necessary that you focus on the muscles that you’ll use during a workout or that you’ve already worked on. For example, if you don’t work the glutes, then it’s better to do leg stretches only.
Next, let’s look at some of the lower body stretches that should be a part of a full stretching routine. They may vary in that some stretches could be done sitting or standing.
- Heel to glutes: While standing, bring your heel to your buttock as you stretch the quadriceps. You may perform this exercise by leaning against a wall if it’s difficult for you to stay balanced.
- Sit-up stretch: Sit with your legs stretched out, and try to touch the tips of your feet. With this exercise, you stretch your hamstrings. It can also be done while standing up.
- Seated abductors: Sit with your back straight and touch the soles of your feet with your hands. You can get help from your elbows by using them to press down your knees and deepen the stretch.
- Buttocks standing: Hold your leg below your knee and raise it to try to touch your chest. Remain straight and bring your knee to your chest. This can also be done by lying on your back, facing up.
- Standing Psoas: Take a big step forward and stretch your leg behind. With this exercise, you’ll work your psoas-iliac muscle.
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Upper Body Stretches
The upper body comprises the part of your body’s trunk, arms, and head. It’s important that you stretch these areas correctly. In the case of the neck and the head, you must take special precautions to not hurt yourself.
As in the previous case, you’ll see some exercises for an upper body stretch routine. This must be used with the previous lower body routine to be complete.
- Arms to the sky: Stretch your arms upwards as much as you can. Intertwine the fingers of your hands and take your arms to the left and then to the right, followed by your body.
- Arms forward: Intertwine your hands and extend your arms forward, as much as you can. You can bend your spine to deepen the stretch.
- Arms behind: Now do the same, but with your arms backward. Try to raise them as much as possible without hurting yourself. With this exercise, you’ll work your shoulders and your biceps.
- Shoulders stretching in front: Cross one arm in front of your chest and with use the other to exert pressure on your elbow area. The crossed arm can remain stretched or flexed.
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- Triceps Stretch: Stretch one arm towards the ceiling and bend the elbow and then put pressure on the elbow with the other hand. You shouldn’t stretch your head forward.
- Neck: Do three different exercises here. First, make circles with your head, trying to get each one of your ears to touch their closest shoulder. Then, tilt your head forward until it touches your chin, and then tilt it backward.
The complete stretching routine should be done before and after physical activity. There are many more exercises and variations, but we think this routine is at least good enough to get you started. How soon will you put it into practice?
Aspects to take into account
Depending on the type of exercise to be performed, stretching could be included (or not) in the previous stage, but what’s generally recommended are warm-up exercises.
In the case of muscle hypertrophy exercises, there are experts who don’t recommend stretching after the end of the session, as it diminishes the results.