notes from kimberly

Three Stretching Exercises You Must Add to Your Workout

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By: Starr Hoyte

At twenty four years old I found out that you could be old at a young age. Back pains, sore feet, and worse of all tight hips – I experienced them all.

When I dove into solutions to fix my achy body, I realized that much of my pain was muscle-related. By adding proper stretching exercises to my workout routine, I not only increased my flexibility but alleviated the pain.

Here are three stretching exercises to add to your workout:

1. Calf & Hamstring Stretches

The condition of your muscles is important since we use them to function in every movement we perform. Before doing any stretching, do a 60-second aerobic exercise like jumping jacks or dancing to warm up your muscles. To properly stretch your hamstring, cross your right leg over your left while standing. Slowly bend your upper body towards the ground until you feel a stretch in your left leg. Hold this position for 30 seconds and switch legs. Repeat this stretch twice on each side.

An easy, anywhere, stretch for your calves is a wall stretch. To do this, strand a few inches from a wall. Place your toes of one foot on the wall, leaving the heel on the ground. Your other leg should be relaxed on the ground as well. Flex. Hold this position for 15 seconds and switch to the other leg. Repeat this stretch twice on each side.

2. The Hand-Down Spine Arm Stretch

Throughout the day you may do mild or heavy lifting. The hand-down spine arm stretch is great for opening up your back and biceps. Extend one hand down the center of your back with your fingers pointing downward. With your other hand, hold your elbow. While exhaling, pull gently on your elbow, allowing your fingers to run along your spine. Switch and stretch your other arm in the same way.

3. Basic Neck Stretch

If you work a job where you’re in front of a computer or if your neck is bent in any way for long periods of time, a basic neck stretch may be what you need to keep you nimble and in good health. To stretch your neck, face forward while standing up. Lift one arm and hold it straight, perpendicular to your body. Using your free arm, gently hold the top of your head and pull in the direction opposite of your straightened arm. Switch and repeat twice.

To get the most out your stretches, control your breathing and keep steady. Stretch morning and night to keep your muscles open and flexible.

For more stretching exercises, check out this article!

About the Writer:

Starr Hoyte is a fitness enthusiast and aspiring personal trainer. As a Herbalife distributor, she works out four days a week and educates women on healthy living through exercise, dieting, and taking supplements.

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