Great Stretches To Do Before Working Out

Great Stretches To Do Before Working Out

It would be strange if you never heard the phrase, “Don’t forget to stretch before your workout.” This is reinforced by countless social media reels and shorts that explain how certain stretches or movements can end hip, back, knee, shoulder, or neck pain. Although it may seem like a waste of time, stretching can help you perform at your best and reduce the risk of injury. We aren’t talking about a few twists or bends, people. We are talking about dedicating at least 10 minutes to stretching before working out.

Benefits Of Stretching Before A Workout

Besides preparing the body physically, stretching before working out can aid mental preparation. Studies confirm that taking time to stretch and breathe mindfully every day can help reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, it can aid total body relaxation. Stretching before working out gives you the mental calm that can help you approach your workout in the best way. It also helps you achieve better posture and balance during exercises. Finally, stretching before working out reduces stiffness, making you less prone to injury. Continue reading to learn about simple stretches to do before your next workout. 

Quad Stretch

To do this stretch, stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. You can stand next to a wall or chair to use as support if needed. Bend your right knee, reach back with your right hand, and grab your right ankle to bring it close to your buttocks. Keep your knees close together and feel the stretch along the front of your right thigh. Hold for 20 seconds and then repeat on the other leg. 

Lunge

This builds on the previous quad stretch and targets your hip flexors. It also may help improve posture and muscle strength. To begin, stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Take a big step forward with your right leg and keep the left stationary. Bend your right knee until your thigh is parallel to the ground, but make sure the knee doesn’t extend beyond the toes. You can rest your hands on your right thigh for support, and make sure to engage your left glute to feel the stretch along your left hip flexor. Hold for 20 seconds and then repeat on the left leg. 

Butterfly Stretch

Begin in a seated position with your legs extended out in front of you. Bend your knees and draw your feet in towards you, planting them flat on the ground. Allow your knees to fall out to the sides and bring the soles of your feet together. You can gently press down on the insides of your knees to deepen the stretch in your inner thighs and groin. You can remain here for 20 to 60 seconds and then release. 

Forward Fold

This is a great way to stretch your hamstrings and lower back muscles. To begin, stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Take a deep breath in, raise your arms overhead, and exhale to come down, hinging at the hips to fold forward. Once your torso is parallel to the ground, you can round your back and let gravity help you down. You can reach your hands down to touch your toes, or grab your elbows and hang. Aim to keep your legs straight, but a slight bend is acceptable. Remain here for 20 to 30 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position. 

Upward Facing Dog

This stretch is great for opening up the upper back and chest muscles. Begin by lying flat on your stomach with the tops of your feet  on the floor. Bend your arms and plant your palms on the ground on either side of your chest. When ready, engage your chest and press up into upward dog. Drop your shoulders and tilt your head back. Hold this pose for 20 seconds and then release. 

Arms Across Chest

Stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart and arms by your sides. Take your right arm and reach across towards the left side of your body. Hook your left arm around the outside of your right and bring it in toward your chest. You should feel a stretch along the outside of your right shoulder. Hold for 20 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

2024-07-04T17:02:32-07:00
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