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Exercise stretching for Better Flexibility

by Anamta bnn
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  1. Tight hamstrings? Stiff hips? Time to loosen up.

Exercise stretching

Stretching may not be the most exciting part of working out, but doing flexibility work is just as important for a well-rounded fitness routine as strength and cardio work.

Incorporating some stretching exercises into your workout schedule will help you improve flexibility, reduce tightness, and ultimately, if you buy domestic steroids and use substances that increase the protein metabolism then it is very important to make your workouts more efficient and safe.

“Tight muscles can cause undue strain on the neighboring joints during normal daily function, or they themselves can become injured,” Sasha Cyrelson, D.P.T., clinical director at Professional Physical Therapy in Sicklerville, New Jersey, tells SELF.

As we age, our muscles get shorter and less elastic, she adds. “We need to take an active role in maintaining and improving the length of our muscles so we can continue to enjoy our abilities without pain.”

Exercise stretching

It’s true that stretching is neither glamorous nor hardcore, and it probably won’t give you the same rush that a run or HIIT class will. “It is uncomfortable and it takes time, so people don’t like to do it,” Cyrelson says.

“However, you can’t just do strength training and cardio without putting yourself at risk for injury and pain.” By doing a ton of work that contracts the muscles (which shortens them) and never stretching (lengthening) them, your muscles will end up imbalanced.

Exercise stretching Imbalances in the body increase your risk for injury because they can cause some muscles and joints to overcompensate for other ones that are too tight to engage properly. This leads to strains and discomfort.

Also, when your muscles are loose and stretchy, they’re less restricted. This allows you to move them wider a full range of motion (ROM).

For example, greater range of motion in your hips and knees will allow you to sink deeper into a squat. Ultimately, having a greater ROM will make it so you’re able to do more exercises—and do them properly.

Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S., instructor at Soul Annex in New York City and creator of Le Stretch class, tells SELF that she likes to use the word mobility instead of flexibility to hammer home how important stretching is for everyday life. “For me, it’s about about daily things that become harder the older you get, like bending down to tie a shoe, walking upstairs, picking your kid up from the floor, or even just getting up off the couch.” Improving your mobility makes these daily activities easier—”you can move more freely,” Atkins says.

Luckily, improving your flexibility and mobility isn’t hard. It just takes a little time. Try adding the stretches for flexibility that Atkins demos below into your routine to help relieve muscle tension and increase mobility—so that you can move through both the gym and life more freely.

  1. Squats
    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. With your toes pointed slightly out, engage your core, bend your knees and push your hips back as you squat down until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Remember to keep your chest up. Hold your hands straight in front or clasp your hands in front — whatever is most comfortable.
  2. High knees
    Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Maintaining straight posture, lift one knee to your chest, rapidly switching to your other leg. If helpful, begin by jogging in place first. Engage your core as you switch from leg to leg at a jogging or sprinting pace.
  3. Leg swings
    Standing straight and keeping your hips aligned, swing one leg forward and backward in a single smooth movement. Switch sides and repeat to complete the set (10 swings/leg). You can use a wall, fence, or pole to maintain balance throughout the dynamic exercise. It is also helpful to start with light leg swings first and gradually extend your range of motion throughout the duration of the stretch.
  4. Lunges
    Start standing straight up. Engage your core and take a big step forward with your right leg, shifting your weight so your heel lands first. Then, lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your right shin is vertical. Press into your right heel to drive yourself back to the starting position. Repeat for the left leg.
  5. Plank walk-outs
    Begin in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Bending from your hips, reach down and place your hands flat on the floor in front of your feet. Next, shift your weight onto your hands and begin walking yourself forward until you form a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage your core and keep your hands directly under your shoulders. Hold for your desired rep length before walking backward and returning to starting position.
  6. Arm circles
    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms out to the side, parallel with the floor. Circle your arms forward using small, controlled movements. Gradually increase the size of the circles until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Then, reverse the direction of your circles.
  7. Standing toe taps
    Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Reach forward with your right arm. While keeping your legs straight, raise your right leg towards your right hand, tapping your right toew with your hand. Lower your leg and repeat on the left side.
  8. Jumping jacks
    Begin standing straight with your legs together and arms flat at your sides. Bend your knees slightly and jump into the air, spreading your legs shoulder-width apart and stretching your arms out and over your head. Jump to return back to starting position and repeat.
  9. Butt kicks
    Start standing straight with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your side. Bring the heel of one foot off the floor towards your glutes and raise the opposite hand up towards your shoulder as if you were running. Then, rapidly switch to the other side. Remember to keep your shoulders back and core active throughout the duration of this dynamic stretch.
  10. Hip circles
    Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. While keeping your hands together in front of your stomach, pull your knee up until it is parallel with the floor. Then, pull the knee back, opening up your hip. Return to starting position and repeat for the other side of your body.