Sometimes it’s okay if you forget the count on your calories but forgetting your post workout stretching is something to worry about. A lot of us are in so much of a hurry that we pay little or no attention to static stretching. Honestly, if you have been doing this for long then you will never skip it after reading this article.
So what are static stretches?
Static stretches involve holding the muscles and joints in a static position at their greatest length. It involves cooling down our muscles and joints after an explosive workout. It is considered as the most effective post workout stretching to loosen up your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. Just take it as a boost to up your fitness game and goals as static stretching has tons of benefits. Just like how you perform dynamic stretching to activate your muscles and joints, you perform static stretching to calm them down.
When do you perform static stretching?
Static stretches can do you good if you perform them after your workout for best results. They can help you cool down and prevent an injury in your body. They can help you to lengthen your tissues which might have gotten tight while performing your workout. It’s ideal that you hold them for 15-30 seconds. It is important to note that the stretching should be gentle, light and comfortable. If you are feeling uncomfortable, then you should stop and do it till it's well tolerated by your body. Keep on breathing throughout the stretching as more and more oxygen will be taken to the muscles and less discomfort will be felt.
You will never forget to include static stretching after reading the benefits of this stretching:
- Better mobility: When you perform static stretching at the end of your workout, you are cooling down the muscles and increasing your range of motion. By doing this, you become more flexible in performing any exercise and form as you get more flexible. This will automatically ease out your daily working out regime process.
- Reduced risk of injury: When you perform your static stretches, you make your muscles and joints less stiff by cooling them down. As a result, your risk for injury or any other form of risk reduces after working out.
- Decreased stress: When you perform post workout exercises, you are releasing the tension and stress in your muscles and joints. As a result, you tend to have less reduced stress levels and you feel good and relaxed after burning your calories.
- Reduced pain and stiffness: When you workout, your muscles become tense and stiff causing discomfort and pain. After you do static stretching, you make your muscles and joints less stiff and with no or less pain. This will keep you going instead of not working out due to pain or stiffness. However, if you are having extreme pain in your joints and muscles then you should listen to your body and recover and rest.
The following are the list of static stretching exercises that can be done after the workout:
How it works: Stand straight and lift your hands over your head and take them slightly behind your head. As you bend your right elbow, take your left arm to pull the right elbow till you feel a stretch on your triceps. You can keep on switching between both the hands.
How it works: Stand straight with the right posture. Take your right hand and pull your right feet till your buttocks. By doing this, you will feel a stretch on your quads. You can do the same with the left feet. Also, if you are not able to balance your body, you can take some support from the wall, hand, pole or a chair using the hand which is free while you perform the stretch.
How it works: Sit on the floor with both your legs folded. First, stretch your right leg in front of you and keep your left leg bent. Now, use your right hand to touch your right toes and feel the stretch in your right hamstrings. You can perform the same for left hamstrings. You can try doing this till you can and stop if you feel uncomfortable.
How it works: Stand straight and upright. Take your hands behind your back and lock your fingers near your buttocks. Start stretching your hand and moving it away till you feel that stretch in your chest. You can try doing this till you can and stop if you feel uncomfortable.
Knee to chest
How it works: Stand straight and upright. Start by taking your right knee towards your chest and holding it with both your hands till you feel the stretch. You can perform this for the left knee as well. Try to have some balance and don’t fall while doing this. You can try doing this till you can and stop if you feel uncomfortable.
Cat Cow Pose
How it works: Get down on your knees and place your hands in line and under the shoulder. First, breathe in, arch your back and take your head down to get into the cat position. Then, slowly breathe out as you move into the cow position by lowering your belly and taking your head high. Hold both of them for 5 seconds and keep on changing between cat and cow stretches.
How it works: Begin this stretch with lying down on your belly on the mat. Place your hands next to your chest so that your forearms are perpendicular to the floor. Start breathing in and as you breathe out put some pressure on your palms and rise. Raise your chest off the floor keeping your neck neutral. It is possible to experience some pain in the start but you can get better at this eventually with practice.
Now that you are well aware about static stretching, I hope you will always end your workout with these stretches. You will feel way more relaxed as you will be stretching the muscles and joints by removing the tension in them. Nothing is as good as ending the workout in the right way and feeling fresh after sweating it out!
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