Maximize the effect of full body fitness by stretching when you finish your workout routine. Stretching after a hike, jog or long walk will relax your muscles, speed up circulation to the joints, and help remove unwanted waste products. Most fitness experts agree that stretching before fitness is counter-productive and potentially harmful. When you stretch before exercising, your body reacts by contracting and tightening. Adjust your workout routine by warming up with a light jog or inclined walk and conclude your exercise with these five important stretches.
Place one foot on an eight inch step. Keep knee slightly bent to avoid hyper-extending and your toes pointed forward. Looking straight ahead, tilt forward from the hips and pelvis while maintaining an arch in your lower back. Once you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh, hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat. If you feel a stretch in your calf, then you’re stretching the nerve; reposition yourself so the sensation in your calf disappears.
Stand near a wall and hold for balance if needed. Grab the top of the right foot and bend your knee, bringing the foot towards the glutes with knee pointing straight toward the ground. You should feel a stretch down the front of your right leg. Squeeze hips forward for a deeper stretch. Switch sides and repeat.
Begin this stretch sitting on the floor with your heels together and knees splayed out. Grab the outer edges of both feet with your hands. Lean forward from your hips, gradually increasing the stretch by bringing your heels closer to your groin, and your chest closer to your feet. Keep a flat back rather than rounding over. Breathe deeply with controlled movements and avoid bouncing.
This exercise can be done sitting or standing with feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Place your right hand on your hip and extend your left arm overhead, gently leaning toward the right side with hips aligned. You will feel the stretch along the left side of your body. Switch sides and repeat.
Back and Trunk Stretch
Lying flat on your back, extend both arms out to the side with palms facing down in a T position. Drop both knees over to the left side of your body and turn your gaze to the right finger tips. Keep your shoulders flat to the floor while twisting the spine and low back. Switch sides and repeat.
Breathe deeply and stretch after exercise to turn your typical workout routine into a full body fitness triumph.