When starting a new work-out program, one of the highly neglected areas is stretching.
When I started to incorporate stretching into my routine I saw a huge difference in the depth of my squat because it decreases muscle stiffness and improves range of motion.
Stretching also helped to relieve glute and leg pain due to me having glute weakness and lower back issues. It improves the flexibility of the hip flexors, hamstrings and muscles attached to the pelvis which in turn relieves stress on the lower back. Of course this reduces risk of injury.
Stretching relieves muscular tension which causes you to feel less stress!
Another huge benefit is it decreases muscle soreness and may improve circulation. Better circulation, more blood flow to the muscle, reducing tightening and post work-out aches and pains.
There are several types of stretching techniques but the two most common ones are static and dynamic.
- Preferably done after exercising. It involves holding a stretch for 10-30 seconds.
- Usually done before exercising to prep the muscles for movement by warming up and loosening up the muscle. It is active! The stretches are not held for a period-of-time. For example doing lunges before a leg work-out.
Examples Of Static Stretching.
The pigeon stretch.
With my history of glute weakness, this is my most favorite static stretch. It stretches the hip fexors, opening up the gluteus minimus and maximus and relaxes the psoas and piriform muscles. I get such great relieve from it 😊
Clink on the link to see how it is properly performed:
For other great examples of static stretching, click on the link below by azcentral:
Examples Of Dynamic Stretching.
-While standing, make a large circle with your arms forward for approximately 10 repetition then change direction and do it backwards for the same number of repetitions.
-While standing, using one leg at a time, make small circles out to the side. Do 15-20 per side. Increase circle circumference as you become more flexible.
Lunges are go for stretching and strengthen the legs and buttocks and for hip flexibility.
How to lunge:
-Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
-Take a step forward making sure that your weight is shifted so that your heel hits the floor first.
-As you lower your body, make sure that your forward thigh is parallel to the floor and that the shin is vertical.
-Press into forward heel to drive back up to starting position.
Repeat on other side.
Note: It is very important that if you are new to stretching, take it slow. Do not stretch beyond the point of comfort! The more that you stretch, the more flexible you will become and the greater range of motion you will have!