As important as it is to exercise, to keep your body fit and healthy and to keep that heart pumping properly, it is just as important to stretch!
I know I’ve gone on about stretching before but it is honestly so important for your body and your muscles that I’m gonna say it again. And not only that I’m going to give you some stretches to add onto the end of your workouts.
But why is stretching so important? Stretching prevents adaptive shortening (where the muscles are used in a shortened place during training and eventually shorten to adapt which can cause other problems) it improves mobility and prevents injury and back pain.
Today is just a basic lower body stretch, so if you are new to stretching and don’t really know exactly what to stretch or which muscles those basic stretches are getting to then this one is for you.
Hurdle Hamstring stretch
Stretching the hamstrings/ back of the upper leg and the lower back
Sit on the floor with one leg outstretched in front of you, bend the other leg at the knee and position your foot against the stretched legs inner thigh. Bending forward at the hips stretch your hands towards the foot of your outstretched leg. Take three deep breathes and on the third out breath move your hands even further forward.
Tip: think about moving your belly button closer to the leg rather than your head.
Stretching the quads/ front of the upper leg
Lie down on your side propping your head up with your lower hand. Take the foot of the higher leg and bring it up towards your bum.
Tip: Think about tilting the pelvis under.
Stretching the glutes/ bum muscles
Start cross legged, then take the top leg and place the foot at the outside of bottom legs thigh with your knee raised. Gently hug the knee towards your chest.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Stretching across the front of the hip- the hip flexor muscle.
Kneeling down on one leg, bring the other foot forward and flat on the floor so the front knee is at a 90 degree angle. Keeping the torso up straight think about titling the pelvis up, or tucking the bum under. You will feel a stretch across the front of the leg and the front of the hip. Hold that for 6 seconds, relax and repeat 3/4 times.
Try adding this to the end of your workouts and see how our mobility and muscle recovery and stiffness improves!
More advanced stretches to follow!!