Stretching holds the same significance in your fitness journey as flossing does in oral care and health. However, like flossing, it is quite easy to skip it. Many people forget or choose to skip post-workout stretches.
But post-workout stretches come with some pretty incredible benefits if you do it after your routine. No matter you have been running, doing HIIT, or doing strength running.
Here is all you need to know when it comes to knowing the importance of stretching after workout, the kind of stretches you need to choose, and what is the most effective manner to do so.
Stretching – What do you get out of them?
The main thing that you get by stretching out after a workout is your mobility gets an additional boost after working the muscle. Stretching helps with increasing blood flow, boost oxygen levels, and help with the transmission of nutrient to the body and muscle. It helps in removing metabolic waste as well to better the recovery process.
When you stretch as a warm-up, you should focus on the dynamic moves or those that have movement. For example, rather than touching your toes, go for an inchworm. Dynamic stretches are quite helpful when you are cooling down after the workout. They work multiple joints and muscles simultaneously.
With strategic stretching, your cool-down can bring mobility benefits as well. It boosts your range of motion, and since your muscles are warmed up after the workout, it will become easier to get a good stretch.
Duration for Stretching
How long do you need to stretch for? Well, ideally, it should last for the same amount as your warm-up that is 5-10 minutes. There is no limitation. You can do any kind of post-workout stretching. Also, it can be 5 minutes or 20 minutes. Something is better than nothing. 30 seconds is enough to hold each stretch. You can go up a bit to one minute or so as you get used to it.
In the beginning, you are going to experience discomfort to an extent. But it should never be a sharp pain or a pinching. And when you stop stretching, you should no longer be feeling anything.
Post-Workout Stretch Routine
Although the best post-workout stretches rely on your workout, try out this 5-move post-workout stretch routine after a full-body strength-training session. All you need is your bodyweight along with an exercise mat so you can move comfortably.
Hold each stretch for 30 minutes to 1 minute. For unilateral, do them for that amount of time on each of the sides.
- Kneel down on your mat with your knees placed wider than hip-width apart and your feet behind you, together.
- Sit back on your heels in the best way and then fold forward. Then, rest your stomach on your thighs. Extend your arms in front of you and bow down so that your forehead rests on the floor. You would feel the stretch in your back and shoulders along with your hips and glutes.
- Now, gently press your chest and shoulders toward the ground to deepen the stretch.
- Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Stand tall with your arms at your sides and feet hip-width apart.
- Bend at your waist, and bending your knees, place your hands on the floor.
- Walk your hands forward to come into a high-plank position so that your hands are flat on the floor, wrists stacked under your shoulders, and your core, quads, and butt are engaged.
- Now pause for a second.
- Walk your hands back your feet and stand to return to your starting position.
- This is one rep. Continue for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Lying Pec Stretch
- Lie down on the floor so your body is in T shape. Lie on your stomach and extend both arms.
- Push off the ground with your left hand. Bend your left knee for balance as you roll your body to the right side pectoral muscles.
- As you improve your mobility, you can stretch farther and roll your body farther.
- Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Now, repeat on the other side.
- Begin with standing with your feet together. Take a big step forward with the left foot so that you are in a staggered stance.
- Now, bend your left knee and drop into a lunge. Keep your right leg straight behind you so that your toes are on the ground and feel a stretch in front of the right thigh.
- Place your right hand on the floor, and then twist your upper body to the left as you extend your left arm toward the ceiling.
- Hold between 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat on the other side.
There you go. This is all you need to know about post-workout stretches. You would see a significant change in your performance as well as the result. Warm-ups and stretches are extremely important for effective workouts.
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