Top 10 Post Workout Stretches
Many people have a good habit of having a light warm-up before they begin the exercise routine. However, many people forget how important it is to take a few minutes to do a few stretches after finishing their workout.
People who skip this crucial part of a workout usually experience additional muscle soreness, and less strength and growth.
In addition, people usually will see a decline in their flexibility.
Follow these steps below in order to make sure you get the best out of your post-workout routine.
Warming up after a workout is just as important as cooling down after a workout. It allows you to slow down your heart rate to a normal steady pace again. This could be anything from a light few minute walk or a light jog.
The most important step after a workout is to stretch the muscles that you have used. This will allow you to have a faster recovery time, less soreness and strengthen the muscles as well. In addition, stretching also gives you the added benefit of increasing your flexibility.
Here are 10 easy post-workout stretches that you can add to your workout routine:
1. The Runner Stretch
- Step your right foot forward and lower into a lunge.
- Placing your fingertips on the floor.
- Breathe in, then, in one motion, exhale as you straighten your right leg.
- Slowly return to the lunge position.
- Repeat four times and switch sides.
2. Forward Bend
- Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
- Maintain a straight back and reach for your toes.
- Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 3 more times.
3. The Butterfly
- Sit on the floor with your knees out to the side
- With each knee bent so that the soles of your feet are touching each other.
- Grasp your feet with your hands
- Slowly lower your body towards your feet as far as you are comfortable with.
- Hold for 45 seconds and repeat.
4. Seated Straddle
- Sit with your feet stretched out in front of you in the shape of a V.
- Make sure that your feet are around 3 to 4 feet apart.
- Sit up and fold forward at your waist.
- Slide your arms down your leg towards your ankles until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
- Hold for 15 seconds and repeat.
5. The Seated Back Twist
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
- Bend your right knee and step your right foot over your left leg.
- Put your right hand on the floor, fingers pointing outward, for support.
- Bend your left elbow and turn to the right, placing the back of your arm against your right knee.
- Inhale as you sit tall.
- Breath out as you twist, pressing your arm into your leg and looking over your right shoulder.
- Hold for 5 breaths, and then slowly return to the center. Switch sides.
6. Arm Stretch
- Sit in a chair and reach your arms over your head with fingers interlocked.
- Extend your arms fully and have palms facing the ceiling.
- Exhale and hold this stretch for 20 seconds.
7. Seated Leg Cradle
- Sit on your mat cross-legged or with your feet touching each other.
- Lift up your left leg, and hook your calf over your left arm.
- Grab onto your feet with your hands for support.
- Slowly lift up your leg until you feel a stretch in your glutes and hips.
- You can gently rock your leg from side to side to move the stretch to difficult parts of the muscle.
- Hold for 30 seconds, and switch legs.
8. Kneeling Quad Stretch
- Start off in a high lunge position, with your right foot forward. Then slowly drop your knee to the ground.
- Take a few moments to find balance, and once you have stabilized your balance.
- With your left arm, reach back for your toes on your left foot.
- Hold for 30 seconds. Slowly release your hold on your left foot.
- Come back to the high lunge position, and then switch sides with your left foot forward.
- Perform this stretch on your right quad.
9. Tip Over Tuck
- Begin standing with your feet hip-distance apart. Bring your arms behind you, and interlace your fingers right below your sacrum (back of your pelvis).
- Actively pull your hands away from your shoulders to increase the stretch in your chest
- From here, lean your chest forward and lift your hands up overhead as you fold your torso toward your thighs.
- If you're only concerned with feeling this stretch in your chest and shoulders, then keep your knees bent.
- To bring this stretch into your hamstrings and lower back, straighten your legs.
- Stay like this for at least 30 seconds, and when you're ready to come out, actively press into your feet, engage your thighs, and slowly lift your torso back up to a standing position.
- Perform again for another 30 seconds.
10. Calf Raises
- Stand on the balls of your feet on a raised platform.
- If needed, hold onto a secure object for balance.
- As you exhale, slowly drop your heels towards the floor.
- Your toes will naturally lift off the platform at the same time.
- You can do this stretch one leg at the time or together.
- Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
When you are working out you lose a lot of water through sweat; therefore, it is important to replenish yourself even after you have finished your workout. This will allow your muscles to recover faster so you can be refreshed for your next workout routine.
During your workout routine you will use and burn lots of carbohydrates and protein. Therefore, it is important to replenish yourself with these nutrients in order to develop stronger muscles and to show faster results. For example, a protein smoothie is a great post workout snack.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.