When your ultimate goal is to become stronger, slimmer, more resilient and more athletic, flexibility should be greater than the back thought.
Let's be honest: stretching is not the most attractive part of a workout, and most of us don't. We would prefer to do interesting exercises that make us sweat or burn tons of calories, and stretching does not allow us to achieve either one or the other.
However, the inability to keep your body flexible enough can actually hold back your progress, cause unnecessary pain and enslavement, and even lead to injuries.
That's why working on flexibility and doing an exercise to stretch your whole body every week is so important, especially if you train a lot.
Fortunately, such a complex does not have to take a lot of time, especially if you have chosen the most effective stretching exercises. Just 10-15 minutes of stretching several times a week is enough to improve the flexibility of the whole body and make it move as it should.
Full body stretching exercises
By adding these five stretching exercises to the end of your workout, you will instantly feel more relaxed, agile and flexible. Just make sure the muscles are warmed up before passive stretching. A short, dynamic workout will be enough.
Each stretching movement should be held for 30-45 seconds once or twice. Do not reach out for pain, and perform springy movements. Perform this set of stretching exercises 2-3 times a week. And do not forget to breathe!
If you train a lot, or sit for a long time during the day, then your hip muscles are almost guaranteed enslaved. This two-in-one stretch helps get to both the hip flexors and the quadriceps.
Take the starting position: the front leg is bent at a right angle, and the second is stretched back. Tighten the muscles of the core and buttocks, then slowly lean back and, with your hand on the ankle, pull the leg to the thigh as far as you can. In the final position for the best effect, try to relax. Remember to work out both sides.
Coming from yoga, this stretch is great for getting to the gluteal muscles. It will help a lot regardless of your current level of flexibility or training goals.
Position one knee in front of you, leaving the other leg elongated at the back. Place both hands on the floor in front of you and slowly lower the body down as far as you can, keeping your hips and shoulders straight. Your goal here is to fall on your elbows. If you're still not flexible, stay on your palms.
Although most people are familiar with the bridge (in yoga called the wheel pose) with the arms and legs on the floor, this variation with the elevation of the legs really allows you to strengthen the effect on the shoulders and upper back, purposefully stretching the chest. Since most of us have rather closed shoulder joints, bridges with elevated leg support are an amazing way to loosen up and pull the upper body, while not creating an excessive load on the lower back.
Lie on your back, put your feet on a step platform, plyobox or other hard raised surface. The higher it is, the more shoulders are stretched, but at the same time, it is more difficult to get out of the bridge. Put your hands on the floor, putting them wider than shoulders with your fingers to the side of the legs. Stand on your hands, lifting your hips and straining your buttocks. Maintain even breathing, stretching smoothly in the shoulder joint while keeping a look on the fingers.
Folding knife exercise
If you do a lot of plyometric exercises or intense leg workouts, give the back of your thigh a little care. These two versions of the classic “folding knife” will do the job.
Sit, stretch your legs in front of you. Tighten your quadriceps, pull your stomach in and lean forward as far as you can. Try to grab the sole of your feet for a deeper stretch.
For a more advanced stretch, you can use the wall, which will bring the stretch of the hips to a whole new level. But first a warning: if you have a stiff back of your thigh (like most people have), it will hurt at first. But it's worth it!
Face the wall, legs together. Then bend over with your arms crossed over your head and rest your upper back against the wall. Slowly slide down the wall keeping your legs straight. The closer you are to the wall, the deeper the stretch.
Exercise Iron Cross for Stretching Chest and Back
Most people make many forward and backward movements in their workouts, but few twisting. This amazingly effective stretch helps straighten your back and chest while twisting your body. Avoid this movement if you have had injuries to the spinal discs or lower back.
Lie on your stomach, extending one arm to the side. Turn away from this hand to the other side, but do not damage the shoulder joint. Bend the leg that was on top, bending back, lowering the foot to the floor. The stronger you twist, the better your pectoral and spinal muscles will open. Breathe evenly while holding a pose. Do not forget about the second side.