Give These Pre-Workout Stretches a Try
Sometimes you can’t be bothered with stretching before a workout. Other times, you’re so pumped with energy that you’re ready to jump straight onto the treadmill.
Dismissing stretching, or not using proper technique can lead to injuries and a poor performance at the gym – merely because your muscles aren’t ready for the intense moves you put them through.
Here are some effective pre-workout stretches to keep you interested and get you mentally prepared for a brutal workout.
- Butterfly stretch: This targets the inner thighs. Sit on the mat, with your legs in front positioned in a diamond shape. Gently push down using the elbows. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Standing on one leg, hold the other at the ankle to target the quadriceps. Hold for 10 seconds on each leg. Pull the leg away for a deeper stretch.
- Standing in neutral, roll the hips in one direction three times and then the other direction three times. This opens up the hip flexors – where most people have problems.
Arms and Shoulders
- Shoulder stretch: Lift one arm up and bend it backwards. Hold onto the elbow to gently push down. Repeat on the other side, holding for 10 seconds.
- Knee-to-chest: Lying down, bring one knee to your chest and feel the back open up. Hold for 10 seconds, whilst keeping the back pressed into the mat.
- Targeting the lower back, sit down and cross one leg over the other. Gently twist one way and look over your shoulder to target the next muscles too.
- Lying down, lift one leg off the floor and hold at the top of the leg. Loosen the ankle by rotating it from one side to the other. Stretch the foot and perform 10 times.
- Neck roll: Gently roll the neck to one side, roll forwards looking to the floor and then to the other side.
Maneuver carefully between each stretch to avoid going dizzy and forcing the muscles into place when they’re not yet ready.
Not only is it recommended to stretch to loosen muscles, you will also improve blood flow and the circulation of oxygen.
Throughout all moves, exhale deeply into the stretch to develop flexibility over time and relax the mind.