One of the best things you can do for your body is to stretch after your workout. Stretching not only feels amazing after a tough session but it also helps your body in so many ways.
Benefits Of Stretching:
- Induce muscle recovery and muscle toning. Stretching after your workout initiates the muscle recovery process to take place and makes better muscle toning results overall.
- Reduce stress.
- Reduce post-workout muscle soreness.
- Improve circulation of blood flow to muscles (again helping recovery).
- And much more! See more benefits of stretching.
Tie A Bow On Your Finger
The cool down is often overlooked, I don’t blame you… you just finished sweating so why spend more time at the gym or doing more exercises? Because I say so!
Ok, not just me but countless other trainers, doctors and researchers. Your cool down period slowly returns your heart to it’s regular pounding rhythm, helps your muscles to stabilize and sets in motion the toning and fat burning process to begin asap. The good thing about stretching is that it can count as part of the cool-down… even better yet:
Stretching takes up no more than 5 minutes.
What You Need To Stretch
Stretch everything. Take time to do 3-5 different stretches that focuses on all different muscle groups. Static stretching is my favorite form, this is when you hold a stretch for a certain time (ideally 20 seconds is best). Active, or dynamic stretching is great too, this is more “active”, duh right? You’re actually moving with the stretch. Examples include lunges, high knee pull walks and slow high kicks.
A great stretching workout has both of these forms of stretching.
Here’s an example of a stretching workout you can do…
- High knee pulls. Walk forward, as you do bring your front knee up to your chest and give it a little “hug” while your grounded foot goes on tip toe. Step down and switch. 2 sets of 10 is great.
- Straddle reach. Sit on your bottom with legs out to the sides in a straddle. Legs should be straight. Hold arms out to the sides, lean to one side to reach for your toes while the arm not reaching for toes goes up by the ears in a rainbow shape. Hold for 20 seconds and switch sides.
- Stability ball stretch. Sit on your knees with a stability ball in front. Push your bottom off your legs so you’re upright. Extend your arms out straight onto the ball, lean forward rolling out 2 feet and push with your shoulders down to the ground. Hold for 20 seconds.