In today’s day and age, there are several types of gym goers. Some people are solely focused on gaining muscle mass, while others want to burn as many calories as possible to lose weight. And then there are people who simply want to maintain their figure and tone muscle. All of this is wonderful, as regular exercise is a key component of optimal health. The one thing that most gym goers have in common, however, is that many of them fail to stretch.
Take pride in your stretching routine instead of leaving it as an afterthought. A consistent stretch routine not only helps relieve muscle tension and soreness, but it also works to improve range of motion and reduce the risk of injury. If you want to perform to the best of your ability, you have to stretch the body. Even if you do not exercise, a daily stretch routine can help you avoid general pain. This is especially beneficial if you sit all day. Continue reading to learn about a five-minute stretch routine aims to stretch the body’s major muscle groups.
Stand up straight with your feet just a little wider than shoulder-width apart and face both of your feet to the right. Keep both legs as straight as possible as you hinge at the hips to fold forward over your right leg. Bring your chest toward your right thigh, but only go as far as you comfortably can. The goal is to stretch your hamstring, not your lower back. If you can reach your thigh, flex your foot by pulling up the toes and this will deepen the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Cross-Legged Forward Fold
Stand up straight and cross your right foot over your left. The outer edge of your right foot should be in line with the outer edge of your left foot. Keep your legs straight as best as you can and engage your core as you hinge at the hips and fold forward at an angle to the left. If you can touch the floor with your hands, great, but you can place them on your shins if you cannot touch the floor. You should feel the stretch along the outside of your thigh (your IT band), but you can deepen the stretch by walking your hands more to the right. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Kneeling Quad Stretch
Stand in a wide lunge position with your right leg in front and the left leg a few feet behind. Lower your left knee to the ground and place the top of your left foot on the ground. Keep your torso engaged and upright as you slowly lean forward onto the right leg. You can remain in this position if you like, or you can really target your quad by reaching your left arm back to grab your left foot. Bring your left foot toward your buttocks, keeping the left knee on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Overhead Triceps Stretch
You can sit down or stand up while performing this stretch. Whether you decide to sit or stand, keep your back straight and extend your right arm up overhead. Bend your elbow and reach your hand behind you, aiming to rest it between your shoulder blades. Reach to grab your right elbow with your left hand and gently pull the elbow to the left. You can lean a little to the left to feel an oblique stretch as well. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Twisted Figure Four
Lie flat on your back with your need bent and feet on the floor hip-distance apart. You can extend your arms out to the side straight, or you can bend at the elbows. Slowly lower both knees to the right, rolling onto the edges of your feet. Make sure to keep both shoulders in contact with the flow as you do this. Take your right foot and gently rest it on top of your left leg just above your knee. The extra weight of your foot will deepen the stretch in the lower back. Hold for 30 seconds and then release. Repeat on the other side.