For a well-rounded fitness routine, stretching is just as important as strength and cardio work. Starting off with some stretching exercises will increase flexibility, reduce tightness, and ultimately, make your workouts more efficient as well as safeguard your body from injury.
Run through these six easy stretches before any workout –
Tip #1: Calf Stretch
Stand shoulder-length apart and place your hands on a wall or chair for support. Ensure you keep your heels firmly on the ground and knees straight while leaning into the chair or wall. The calf stretch helps in relieving foot, shin, hip, and knee pain, and can protect the Achilles tendon. Complete: 3-5 sets in 30 seconds.
Tip #2: Quadriceps Stretch
Standing, keep your feet together and hips straight, bend your right knee by taking the front of your right foot in your right hand. Make sure you keep your knees even when you bend your right knee back. Continue to keep your body straight while you hold this stretch, feeling its effect on the top of the quadriceps. Stretching the quads helps in improving knee and back pain, aids in circulation and even helps reduce stress. Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
Tip #3: Shoulder Stretch
Standing shoulder-width apart, lift your right arm to shoulder height, and direct it across the front of your body. Using your left arm press the right arm as close to the chest as possible and hold this stretch. Take turns using both arms and repeat.One of the most delicate joints in the body, the shoulder requires quality stretching to help improve both flexibility and mobility.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
Tip #4: Runner’s Stretch
Sit down with one foot facing straight forward while the other foot is tucked in .Leaning forward with your arm extended try to grab your foot. The purpose of this is to lean forward till you feel your hamstring stretching. The runner’s stretch is great to combat hip and knee pain which is a common complaint among runners. Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
Tip #5: Butterfly Stretch
Sit down and take both heels and align them in a way that they are touching each other. Then with the help of your elbows gently press down on your thighs until you feel your groin area being stretched out. This stretch helps with opening up the hips and thighs to improve flexibility.Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
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