8 Crucial Post-Workout Stretches for Limber Body and Tight Muscles

8. Hamstrings / Inner Thigh / Lower Back Stretch

Advertisement

Advertisement

Starting Position:

Sit with your back straight, legs apart, knees bent or straight, depending on your flexibility.

The Stretch:

Keeping your back straight, exhale and lean forward at your hips with your arms extended. Go as close to the floor as you can without over-stretching. Hold for twenty seconds.

Stretch Tips:

In this program, you will do static stretching which involves holding a stretch position for about twenty seconds without bouncing. When you perform your stretch, take a deep breath in, and then exhale as you go into the stretch and hold the position for twenty seconds as you continue to breathe deeply. As you hold the stretch you can try to take it a bit deeper.

7. Seated Hamstring / Side Bend

Starting Position:

Sit with your back straight, your right leg extended out to the side, your left leg bent.

The Stretch:

Keeping your back straight, exhale and lean forward toward your extended leg while lifting your left arm over your head to stretch your waist. Hold for twenty seconds.

Stretch Tips:

The best time to stretch is after your workout, because this is when your muscles are warm and you can stretch the connective tissues (the ligaments and tendons) more deeply and with less risk for injury.

If you stretch when your muscles are cold (for example, as soon as you wake up in the morning), you have much more limited flexibility and higher chances of hurting yourself.

6. Shoulder / Chest Stretch

Starting Position:

Sit with your back straight, legs crossed, your hands locked behind your back, and your shoulders pulled back.

The Stretch:

Keeping your back straight, exhale and squeeze your shoulder blades together, while keeping your chest forward. Hold for twenty seconds.

Stretch Tips:

During a stretch, you should feel tension and a bit of discomfort in the muscles that you are stretching, but you should never feel sharp pain. If you do, you must ease up on the stretch immediately or you risk injuring yourself.

You also should ease up on a stretch if you start to feel the muscles shaking – this is an indication that you have activated the stretch reflex, meaning you are over-stretching and your body is trying to compensate for that by actually contracting, rather than lengthening.

5. Upper Back Stretch

Starting Position:

Sit with your back straight, your hands locked in front of your chest, arms extended.

The Stretch:

Exhale and bend your back as you pull your stomach muscles in tight and bring your shoulders forward. Hold for twenty seconds.

Stretch Tips:

Try to find a quiet place to stretch, one that will allow you to focus on your breathing and on getting the longest, deepest stretch possible.

4. Bicep Stretch

Starting Position:

Sit with your back straight, your legs crossed, and your arms extended in front of you.

The Stretch:

Keeping your back straight, exhale and pull on your left hand with your right hand, applying enough pressure to feel a stretch in the front of your right arm. Hold for twenty seconds. Switch arms.

3. Tricep Stretch

Starting Position:

Sit with your back straight, your legs crossed, and your arms extended above your head.

The Stretch:

Keeping your back straight and head up, exhale and bend your right arm behind your neck so that the elbow faces the ceiling. Use your left arm to apply gentle pressure to the elbow as you reach down your back. Hold for twenty seconds. Switch arms.

2. Side Lunge Stretch

Starting Position:

Stand straight, legs shoulder width-apart, facing front with your left arm extended upward and your right hand on your hip.

The Stretch:

Keeping your back straight and head up, exhale and bend your right leg to the side as you extend your left leg.

At the same time, lift your left arm over your head in an arc and place your right arm on your right thigh for support. Hold for twenty seconds. Switch sides.

1. Lower Back Stretch

Starting Position:

Position yourself on all fours, your shoulders above your wrists, your hips above your knees, and your head in line with your spine.

The Stretch:

Exhale and round your back all the way up as you pull your stomach muscles in tight. Hold for twenty seconds. Inhale and release to a straight back.