Sunday, September 23, 2012

Stretch...ahhh that feels so good

After a run (short or long) nothing feels better than stretching out tired, overworked muscles. Here are some stretches I do from the Nike Training Club app that target lower back, quads, hip flexors, and hamstrings.

This really gets the inner thighs.

Hamstring, Inner Thigh and Quad Stretch

Pretzel Stretch

Pike Squat Stretch

Sit on your butt and bring one foot behind you to feel the stretch in the front of you thigh. 
Lean back as far as you can. Bend your straight leg towards your other leg to feel more of a stretch.
As your flexibility improves you will be able to go lower. 
Hold the pose for 1 min then switch sides. 

Lie on your back w/one leg straight and the other raised w/bent knee.
Bring the raised leg over to one side until it touches the floor, keeping shoulders on the ground (if you can) and look to the opposite side.

Stretching has a plethora of benefits and should be done on a daily basis (not only for workouts) esp as we get older.  Yep, I said it - those aches and pains that weren't there when we were young are slowly creeping up on us.  Here are other reasons you should be stretching:

  • Stretching decreases muscle stiffness and helps improve your range of motion which may also slow the degeneration of the joints. 
  • Improves posture. Stretching the muscles of the lower back, shoulders and chest will help keep your back in better alignment and improve your posture.
  • Helps reduce/manage stress. Well stretched muscles hold less tension and therefore, leave you feeling less stressed.
  • Promotes circulation. Increases blood supply to the muscles and joints which allow for greater nutrient transportation and improves the circulation of blood through the entire body.
  • Decreases the risk of low-back pain. Flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors and muscles attached to the pelvis relieves stress on the lumbar spine which in turn reduces the risk of low-back pain.

**Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise or stretching program.  If exercises cause increased pain, discontinue immediately 

1 comment:

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