Must Do Pre And Post Workout Stretches
It is essential to exercise and equally essential to do pre and post workout stretches. The types of stretches performed by us have a huge impact on our flexibility, athletic performance, muscle strain and risk of injury. Not all stretches are the same. Doing static stretches before working out can actually increase the risk of injury instead of reducing it. You need to know what stretches should be done before a workout and which ones after as they are totally different.
Pre workout stretches
Stretches before a workout should have moves that increase the heart rate, stretch the muscles and lubricate joints. Doing dynamic stretches before a workout reduce the risk of injuries and increases our athletic performance.
Duration: 5 minutes
1) Jumping jacks
Start with your legs together and your arms by your side. Jump and bring your legs out so that they are more than shoulder width apart. While you jump, bring your arms overhead, clapping your hands together. Jump immediately back to the starting position.
Start jogging at the same spot. While jogging, kick the left heel to the bum. Switch legs, while making sure that your knees are pointed straight down all the while.
3) Knee to Chest
Stand with your feet hip width apart. Lift your right leg and bring it to your chest, giving it a big hug as close as possible. Switch legs and repeat the same.
4) Walking Lunges
Stand with your legs a hip width apart on one side of a tennis court. Walk up to the other side of the tennis court, lunging alternately with your right and left leg. This needn’t be intense, don’t bend down completely while doing the lunge, the body should lean forward.
5) Arm circles
Extend your arms out straight out by your sides so that they seem parallel to the floor. Start rotating them in small circles. Continue the movement for a while and then reverse the movement so that your arms rotate anticlockwise too. Small arm circles should be performed before doing large arm circles.
6) Straight leg kicks
Stand straight wit your feet a hip width apart. Kick your left foot in the air and touch your right toes with your left hand. Make sure you keep your legs, back and arms straight and toes bent. Even if you can’t reach your toes it is fine. Switch sides and repeat the same.
7) Neck roll
Stand up straight. Begin by dropping you head forward followed by rolling it from your right shoulder to your left shoulder. Keep repeating this a few times and start rolling the head complete 360 degrees. Alternate the rolling action and continue.
Do spot jogging bringing each knee up so that your thigh is parallel to the floor.
Post workout stretches
Stretches that you do after a workout should lower your heart rate and stretch your muscles. These stretches should be static (non-moving) exercises.
Total duration: 3-5 minutes
Sit on the ground with your knees bent and soles of each foot touching each other. Hold your feet together and bring them as close as possible to your body while making sure that your back remains straight.
2) Forward fold
You can keep your legs either together or hip/shoulder width apart. Keep the straight with your body bent forward trying to touch the ground.
3) Downward Facing Dog
Begin with a forward fold and then walk your legs back so that your body can make a “V” upside down! Arms should be straight with your shoulders down, keep bums in the air.
4) Flamingo stretch
Stand straight with your feet a hip width apart, bending your right leg bring your right foot up towards your bum. Hold the position while making sure that your knees are aligned well.
5) Extended leg stretch
Sit down with your right leg straight. The left leg should be bent with the foot against the upper right leg. Complete the forward fold while trying to touch the toes and keeping the back as straight as possible. Switch legs.
6) Torso Stretch
Stand while holding arms above the head with your fingers interlocked. Fold to your left, back, right and then forward, holding each position for an appropriate amount of time.
7) Shoulder stretch
You can do it while sitting or standing. Extend your right arm and then use your left arm to pull it to your chest. The right arm should be straight across the chest with your hand extended to the left.
8) Bum stretch
Sit on the ground with your legs extended forward. Bend the right knee and place your right foot on the outside of your left knee. Rotate your torso and place your right elbow against the inside of your right knee while your left arm is behind for support. Rotate your back and neck so that you look over the left shoulder. Switch sides and keep your back straight.
Do stretch the right way before and after your workout!
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