Stretching is the most essential part of any exercise. It prepares your body for the workout ahead and helps to relax and cool down your muscles. The point is to know when the best time to stretch, and what stretches are best for you. Starting your workout without any stretching can be harmful to your body and cause injury, so Pre and Post Workout Stretches are necessary to warm up your body before a workout for those muscles to avoid soreness. Here are some of the best workout stretches to ensure you and your body stay protected both before and after your workout session.
Some Important Pre and Post Workout Stretches:
1. Light Jog
You can go for a light jog. It is nothing intense or crazy, but it is perfect for getting your muscles moving and warmed up. It is a great method to begin any workout before you hit the ground running. You can change it to a power walk if jogging is too much.
2. Jumping Jacks
I love doing this light pre-workout exercise since they activate different muscle groups, they are perfect for any workout you are about to do. They are the best to get your heart rate up. If you need some change? Instead of jumping for a little less impact, step out your feet.
3. Full Leg Stretch
I personally love this exercise after you have worked your legs or done any cardio workout. Our legs muscles tend to get sore easily, so this stretch is the key to avoiding any stiffness the next day. Prop your leg up or do this stretch sitting, raise your arms and reach for your ankle, toes, and calf.
4. Arms Stretching
This one is so simple, bring your arm across your body and you will feel the stretch straight away. This is a great one to do after any shoulders, triceps, or biceps workout and feel like a great reward for those muscles that just worked so hard.
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5. Runner’s Lunge
This stretch is super beneficial after any high-cardio workout. This focuses on the hips, calves, glutes, and quads and makes it perfect for helping with any lower body discomfort. Without any doubt, this stretch feels great and you will probably want to hold this one for a few more minutes.
6. Quad Stretch
This one may be the best saved for post-workout as you need to get a little bit of a heart rate before this stretch. Do this one standing to feel this stretch to its full potential. If you need to balance, feel free to hold onto the wall, you stroller handle, your workout friend, or whatever you may have helpful nearby.
7. Downward Dog
Enjoying a few breaths in Downward Dog is a great method to wind down, and you don’t have to reserve it just for Yoga. This exercise is helpful from top to bottom while allowing you to work on both your physical and mental balance. If you need a little deeper stretch, focus on bending each leg at the knee and holding it there for a moment.
Always remember, Pre and Post Workout Stretches are important part of any workout and should not be ignored. I promise, it adds more goodness to an amazing workout session, and could relatively become your favourite part of it, too!