One thing to having a proper and safe workout is to stretch! I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve injured myself due to dancing with cold and un-stretched muscles. Here are some tips and visuals for easy stretches that can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Always remember to warm up your body before you stretch. This can include cardio anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on the type of workout you will be performing. If it’s cardio day, definitely stretch afterwards to prevent lactic acid from building. This is what creates that tight soreness.
When stretching, it is advised to hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds without bouncing that body part. Your muscles are like elastic bands…forcing it too far can cause it to tear. Holding a stretch allows your body to gradually and safely get used to the pull and increases flexibility. This is why body alignment and positioning is extremely important!
As hard as it is to get back up after leg day, or any workout for that matter…the best thing for sore muscles is MOVEMENT! Continue moving your muscles and stretching it out appropriately for your own body. Keeping up with protein, water, and potassium will help heal and rebuild muscle with proper rest.
- This stretch is great for starting off once your body is warm. While keeping one arm parallel to the ground, you can feel the stretch against your side. Then you can transition by stretching both arms together and flattening and curling your back (so you look hunchbacked)
2. With this stretch, start off by placing your hand against your knee and sliding it down as far as you can. Once you are able to go down to touch your feet, You can stretch both hamstrings and waist by raising one arm up straight to the ceiling.
3. This is one of my favourite positions since you can transition to different stretches for your quads and hamstrings. Ensure that both feet and toes are pointing forward and your hips are facing the front. When you’re bending into a lunge, your knee should be above your foot to avoid poor body alignment that could cause injury.
4. While you are in the lunging position, you can place your elbows and forearms against the ground. This is great for stretching the hips! I like to then place my foot in front of my waist and slide my hands forward against the ground as far as I can go.
5. Always make sure you stretch evenly on both sides. If you want to challenge your balance, use your elbow to hold yourself straight with your palms together. Use your core muscles to help you!
6. Another stretch to loosen both hamstrings and hips is this position. Ensuring both feet are pointing forward, bend down with a straight back as far as you can go. Grab your elbows and swing left to right towards each foot. End off with reaching over to one foot while bending the opposite knee. The bent leg will allow your quad to enjoy a stretch as well.
Hope this helps! Feel free to comment below to share your stretching experiences