Whether you've been working out for years or you're just getting started, we all know that we're supposed to stretch before and after exercising, but not everyone does it. Fortunately, stretching is one of the easiest (and most beneficial) parts of any workout and even a novice can do it quickly and easily. Post workout stretches are a crucial part of any fitness routine and can help keep your body moving towards better health. Stretching after your workout is essential and is a great way to release muscle tension, especially after a hard session. Aside from helping relieve tired muscles, stretching after your workout helps to increase blood flow and circulation to your muscles and can help prevent injury. After your workout, take about 10-15 minutes and try these easy stretches out to help you recover. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWJQLTIvONY
Seated Hamstring StretchJust about everyone has probably done this stretch at some point and there's a good reason for that. It's easy and works wonders! The seated hamstring stretch is great for runners and can help prevent a very common inury to the group of tendons in your hamstrings. While seated, extend one leg out in front of you, bringing your other leg inside pointing towards your outstretched leg. Slowly lean forward reaching your fingers to the tips of your toes and hold. If you can't reach your toes, go as far as you can comfortably and hold on to your leg. As you do this stretch, try to reach further reach time you repeat. Once you've finished with one leg, simply switch to the other. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwLzBJYoWlI
Calf RaisesCalf raises continue to focus on stretching your legs and help to once gain release tension in your muscles after your workout. Simply find a raised platform or step, stand on the balls of your feet and slowly lower your heels down. As you lower your heels, you'll start to feel a tight stretch in your calves. You can do this one leg at a time or with both feet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZBKSOtyssM
Quads StretchThe quad stretch is another common stretch for runners that many of us learned in our grade school gym class. You can start freestanding or find a wall or pole to lean on for balance. Start with one leg, pulling your heel back and up towards your buttocks. Hold this stretch for several seconds and swap to the other leg. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0ELTWpEGSk
Abdominal StretchOne area of the body that people work out a lot but neglect to stretch is the abdominal region. We use our abs for just about everything, and it's just as important to give them some relief as it is with any other muscle group. Abdominal stretches go by a lot of names, but the stretch we're working on today is most commonly known as the "swan stretch." Lie on your stomach and place your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Slowly raise your upper body with your hands while keeping your hips on the ground. As you rise up, you'll feel a gentle stretch in both your upper and lower abs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnlcuZ0mJSU
Shoulder StretchesYour shoulders carry a lot of weight during the day, and are an even bigger part of your workouts, especially if you're lifting weights. Stand with your spread shoulder width apart and raise on arm up. Keeping your arm held at shoulder height, bring it across your chest, hooking it under your other arm. As you bring your outstretched arm as close to your chest as possible, you'll feel a light stretch in your shoulder muscles.
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