Want that to be you? Try this full-body stretching routine.
Ever feel like stretching is a waste of time? It’s hard enough finding the time to exercise, let alone stretch. But by skipping flexibility exercises, you’re missing out on a vital part of fitness. Stretching is about more than loosening up your muscles before a workout and reducing lactic acid after. It’s about improving performance, increasing circulation, preventing injury, easing stress, relieving muscle tension, and increasing flexibility.
Don’t miss out on the benefits stretching has to offer. For best results, include stretching as part of your everyday routine. Starting with your ankles and working your way up to your neck, here are 10 simple stretches that work every major muscle group in your body.
Remember to always do a few warm-up exercises before stretching. Unless stated otherwise, hold each stretch at least 15 seconds and repeat them each two or three times. Stretching should never hurt.
Your ankles bear the brunt of a lot of work. Loosen them up by slowly rotating each foot clockwise 10 times, then counterclockwise 10 more times.
To get a good calf (the muscle on the back of your lower leg) stretch, get in a push-up position on the floor, with your rear lifted high in the air. Hold this stretch, then slowly bend one knee at a time while pressing back on the opposite heel.
Hamstrings and Hip Flexors
A great stretch for your hamstrings (the muscle on the back of your upper leg) and your hip flexors (where your thigh meets your pelvis) is the runner’s stretch. Lunging forward on your left leg, lean down and place your hands on the floor on the inside of your left foot, while you straighten your right leg. Hold and then switch legs.
Your largest muscles aren’t your biceps. They’re your quads (the muscles on the front of your upper legs). Get a good stretch for these muscles by standing up straight, bending your left leg behind you, and grabbing your left foot with your left hand. Pull until you feel a stretch and hold. Repeat on the right leg. If necessary, hold onto a chair or wall for balance.
Hips and Glutes
Get an effective hip and glute stretch with this exercise. Lying on your back, bend your left knee, and put your left foot on the floor. Then, take your right foot and rest it across your left knee. Take your hands and grab behind your left knee, pulling it toward your chest. If you can, use your right elbow to push your right knee down to the side. Repeat on the other side.
Your lats (upper back muscles) and external obliques (the muscles on your sides) will get a good stretch with this exercise. As you stand, hold your hands together and raise them above your head. Reach to the sky, then slowly bend your upper body to the right side and then the left.
Chest and Biceps
Lengthen the muscles of your chest and biceps (the muscles on the front of your upper arm) by holding your hands together behind your back and straightening your arms. Then, lift your arms while keeping your back straight.
Stand up straight, raise your left arm, and place your left hand behind your head. Then use your right hand to grab your left elbow and gently press your left arm so your left hand reaches down your back. Hold and repeat on other side. You’ll feel the stretch in your tricep muscle (the muscle on the back of your upper arm).
Get a good stretch in your shoulders by reaching your left arm across your chest and using your right hand to gently press your left elbow against your chest. Hold, then switch arms.
Sit or stand in a relaxed position. Slowly bend your neck and bring your head down toward your left shoulder, toward the back, toward your right shoulder, and then toward your chest, giving your neck time to stretch in each position.
Stretching is not just a pre or post-workout activity. It’s a form of self-care that your body needs and deserves daily. It’s a small investment of time that yields big returns in terms of physical and mental well-being.
Consider stretching as a way to connect with your body. It’s a moment to check in with yourself, to listen to what your body is telling you. It’s a time to appreciate all the amazing things your body does for you.
Stretching is also a great way to combat the negative effects of sitting for long periods, which many of us do because of our jobs. Sitting for extended periods can lead to tightness in the hips and hamstrings, and even contribute to lower back pain. Regular stretching can help alleviate these issues.
Moreover, stretching can also be a powerful stress reliever. It encourages relaxation and reduces tension in the muscles. This can be particularly beneficial after a long day at work or during stressful periods.
So, make stretching a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. Your body will thank you for it. Remember, flexibility isn’t just about being able to touch your toes, it’s about living a healthy, balanced life.
Ready to take the next step towards a healthier, more flexible you? Don’t let the benefits of stretching remain just words on a page. Put them into action today! Start with the simple stretching routine we’ve outlined above and experience the difference it can make in your fitness journey.
At Z Physique, we’re committed to helping you achieve your health and fitness goals. Our online coaching programs are designed to provide you with the guidance and support you need to succeed. Whether you’re looking to improve your flexibility, lose weight, or simply live a healthier lifestyle, we’re here to help.
Remember, every journey starts with a single step. Make that step today by signing up for one of our membership programs. Let’s work together to create a fitness plan that’s tailored to your needs and lifestyle.
Don’t wait for tomorrow. Start your journey to a healthier, more flexible you today. Visit our website to learn more about our programs and how we can help you achieve your fitness goals. Your future self will thank you!