After a good full body workout you see most people give their legs a bit of a stretch, maybe pull there foot up to their bum and stretch their quads…but how many people will leave it at that?
So many people will hit so many muscles in the body during a session but neglect to stretch it all. Just like any other muscle, if you continue to work it but not stretch or loosen it then that muscle will just continue to get tighter, which can potentially cause problems in the long run.
So here are a few moves to help loosen the upper body:
This is a stretch you’ll see many people do but not everyone will feel any benefit unless they know what it’s for. Take one arm flat across the body palm facing behind you, use the other arm to squeeze the arm in closer to the body. This is to stretch the muscles between the shoulder blades- an important group of muscles to look after when thinking of posture.
Then while in the same position turn the hand of the outstretched arm upwards and try to lift it up, at the same time take the working hand and place it flat on the arm towards the shoulder and gently push down. This should stretch the part of the trapezius running from the neck and along the the of the shoulder, a good for avoiding stiff neck and shoulders.
Take one arm over the head, bending the elbow and directing the hand down towards the back, then use your other hand placed on the elbow to gently pull the elbow towards the head. If you don’t feel a stretch along the back of the upper arm, gently push your elbow against your hand to increase the stretch.
Stretch both legs out in front of you and sit upright. Take one leg, bending it at the knee and place the foot on the opposite side of the other leg, where along the leg is personal preference.
Then using the opposite arm to the bent leg place it on the outside of the bent leg and rotate the torso as if turning away from it. Take this slowly and gently, there’s no need to force anything, also try to keep the back upright…you don’t want to twist the spine when it’s not straight!
Take both arms up, bending the elbows at 90 degrees with the hands heading towards the ceiling….like the shape of a staple. Think about pushing the arms back taking the whole forearm backwards and stretching out the chest.
Always a nice one to keep the neck from getting stiff! Rolling the head around from one side, through the front, all the way to the other side….there is debates as to whether to roll the head round the back as well, I don’t personally recommend it, if you do want to go all the way around, think about lifting up and over rather than crunching down at the back.
Another lovely feeling one to keep the shoulders loose! Lift he shoulders up as high as you can then think about circling them round to the back, down and through the front. Do this a few times then reverse and go the other way.
These things seem simple, but simple doesn’t mean a waste of time! It only takes a few minutes to complete all of these stretches but they can really help.