Mobility is becoming a fundamental fitness mantra, but stretching is more than just a stylish way to easily perform functions in your daily life. We’re always encouraged to start exercising with stretching, but do we really need it? Let’s talk about this in detail.
Fitness expert Meenakshi Mohanty says we don’t just need to stretch before a workout, but also after a workout. Stretching improves flexibility so you can work out faster. But stretching gives us more than just ease of movement.
Stretching plays a very effective role in relaxing the body. This gives you energy and relaxation.
Here’s a stretching guide that can help you.
Do stretches before exercise
Meenakshi says: “Stretching before exercise is very beneficial because it warms up the body. This increases blood flow to the muscles. In addition to this, you get the necessary oxygen and nutrients from it. This helps you prepare your body for the next stress.”
Stretching is important even after a workout. Stretching is essential for the recovery of the body. Because toxins released by your muscles during exercise enter your bloodstream. They leave your body when you stretch after exercising.
So post-workout should focus on static stretching, where the muscles can be stretched to full range. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds. It depends on a person’s ability to stretch and progress made in this area. It also helps increase blood flow in the body. Plus, after exercise, stressed muscles get much-needed nutrients.
Fitness trainer Meenakshi Mohanty gives some tips on stretching these 5 body parts
1. Hip stretch
This exercise can relieve back pain. It helps loosen tight buttocks. You can also use a foam roller to stretch your hips.
A foam roller is an essential tool to help stretch easily and effectively. This is great for your stretches.
How to use a foam roller
Extend your legs in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your right heel on your sit bones. Withdraw your right hand. The palm should be on the ground. Using your left hand, slowly move your right knee to the left until you feel pressure. Wait 30 seconds. Then leave and repeat the same movement with the other leg.
2. Hamstring stretches
These stretches are designed to strengthen the muscles in the back of the legs. This should be done at the end of the workout. Your hamstrings must be flexible to keep your back, hips, and glutes healthy.
Some exercises you can do for this include flexion stretches, forward bends, scissor bends, and standing hamstring stretches.
3. Neck stretches
Whether you’re sleeping in the wrong position or sedentary, neck strain isn’t just a problem. Not only can this cause headaches, but it can also lead to back stiffness. Stretch the sides of your neck for immediate stress relief. You can also stretch the back of your neck.
To do this, place your hands behind your back and hold your right wrist with your left hand. You straighten your arms and pull them slowly. Hold for 30 seconds. Then left. Then switch sides and do the same exercise.
4. Shoulder stretches
It is best to rotate and twist your shoulders to loosen tight shoulders. The cow-facing pose is another effective form of exercise.
Extend your hands and fold your right hand behind your head. Bend your elbows and move your left hand behind your back. Extend your left hand to reach your right fingers.
Repeat with the other hand. Sitting work puts extra stress on the soft tissues and shoulder joints. As a result, the shoulders become stiff and painful. Beyond that, shoulders are an important part of keeping your neck, ribs, and back healthy. Therefore, the ligaments and muscles of the shoulder affect the entire area.
5. Abdominal stretches
Stretching your abdominal muscles after strenuous exercise can help relieve the pain or stiffness you experience throughout the day.
You can also try sitting cobra yoga pose as a stretch. You can also use the exercise ball to bend at your sides for a stretch, as well as stretch your spine.