For fitness addicts looking to improve their workout training, a good stretching may just be what you need to launch you into your sets and repetitions and wind down after a gruelling, sweat-packed routine. Whether you’re looking to improve your flexibility, achieve a toned physique or recover from sore muscles and tight hamstrings, limber up with these head-to-toe stretching exercises to get the best out of your workout.
1) Deep Quad Stretch: Whether your workout consisted of spinning, squatting or running, stretching out your quads is a must to loosen up those stiff muscles. To stretch out your quads, go down on the floor on both knees and lunge your right leg forward while keeping your left knee bent on the floor. Lean your hips forward into your right leg to deepen the stretch and place both palms on your right knee for balance. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and switch to the other leg. This is a great cool down after an intense leg workout to stretch out your sore thighs.
2) Seated Ab Twist: If you’ve been working hard doing ab crunches and body planks to achieve sculpted abs, simple stretches can also help you lose those love handles. If you want a refreshing break from your intense abdominal routine, try this seated ab twist to help you maintain a flat belly. Sit on the floor with both legs stretched out and your back straight. Rotate your upper body to the right, placing your palms behind your back and keeping your abs engaged. Twist as far as you can and hold for 10 seconds before rotating to the left side. Do 10 repetitions of this.
3) Cobra Pose: If you suffer from back problems and lower back pains, here is an easy exercise to help you ease some of the tension from your lower back. To do this pose, lie face down on the floor with your palms beside your shoulder. Then, using your arms, prop yourself up to lift your whole upper body. Make sure to keep your hips and pelvis on the floor, your shoulders pressed to the side and your chest wide open to get a good back and upper body stretch. Use your abs to hold you up. Hold for 20 seconds and do four repetitions. This helps reduce any stiffness in the lower back as well as strengthens the spine for better posture.
4) Tricep Stretch: For avid weightlifters trying to achieve leaner arms and muscled triceps, stretching before and after a workout is just as important to your routine to help your muscles grow and prevent any torn tendons. To get a proper arm workout, try this classic tricep stretch to ensure you get a good stretching. Lift your right arm up above your head and bend the arm at the elbow, bringing it behind your head and touching your right palm to your left shoulder cap. Deepen the stretch by pushing your right elbow down with your left arm. Hold for at least 15 seconds and switch arms.