It is important to stretch before and after exercising, yet it is surprising how many people do not do it. Whether they do not see the point, do not feel like they have the time, or simply can’t be bothered, it can be detrimental to your fitness and can end up doing more harm than good.
A pre-workout stretch does not need to take very long and does not need to be complicated. We have put together some easy to understand information that will hopefully encourage you to make stretching a part of your daily workout routine.
Warming up before exercise can help to prevent injury, strains and pains. If you have been in bed all night and sitting down at work all day, your body will not be prepared for a workout, meaning it will be easier to damage from sudden exertion. Stretching will loosen up your muscles, allowing you to have increased movement and motion.
Yes you should. This will help to remove any lactic acid from your muscles and reduce any soreness. It will also take your blood flow back to normal and can help to improve your muscle strength in preparation for your next exercise session.
Try to complete 2 or 3 sets of each exercise, with 10 repetitions each time.
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, engage your core and bend your knees and push your hips back, raising your arms in front of you as you do. Keep your chest up straight and gently raise back to the starting position, then repeat.
Start standing up straight with your hands on your hips or by your side. Engaging your core, take a big step forward, leaving the other foot in place. Lower your body so that your front thigh is parallel to the floor, then hold for a moment. Use the front leg to push yourself back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
From a standing position, bend from the hips and put your hands flat on the floor. Move your weight onto your hands and start to walk your hands forward, keeping your feet in place. Once you have walked your hands to a point where your head is a straight line to your heels, stop, engage your core and hold for a few moments. Then walk your hands back until you are back in your starting position.
Just as you would have done in PE at school, stand straight with your hands by your side. Then jump into the air, spreading your legs to shoulder width apart for your landing, with your hand going up above your head. Jump again, bringing your feet back to the starting position and bring your arms back down to your side at the same time.
Hold your arms out to the side, parallel with the floor. Circle your arms forward in a fluid motion, gradually increasing the size of the circle. After 10 circles, repeat the motion backwards.
If performed correctly, your warm up stretches should help to improve your speed and agility during your workout.
Don’t worry, our next blog will cover the all important cool down stretches!