Today I’m talking all about stretching exercises.
A lot of people are trying to get back in the groove of working out again.
My inbox has been flooded with people complaining of feeling pain from their workouts.
I also hit the gym last week following my Doctor’s orders to rehab my knee. (I tore my meniscus a few months ago.)
While tethered to my elliptical machine I’ve noticed one thing just about everyone at my gym (and my clients) have in common.
They aren’t doing any stretching exercises(!)
I’ve talked about the importance of stretching before in my post called 10 Fitness Tips to Get Better Results from your workouts.
But I’ve never focused exclusively on the importance of stretching or shared any stretching exercises.
Enter today’s topic all about stretching.
This post is for YOU, if:
• You workout and don’t stretch
• You feel tightness and soreness in your joints/muscles after exercise
• You experience shin splits, cramping, or side stitches when you exercise
• You feel pain for days after a workout
See me explain why stretching is important and an easy warm-up and cool-down routine with stretching exercises that target every single muscle in your body.
I shot this video I’m sharing today right after the car accident that jacked up my back 6 years ago.
If I didn’t stretch I probably wouldn’t be still be making workouts for yall. It’s helped me so much. I know it’ll help you, too.
Why you should Stretch
Stretching plays a key part in your exercise regimen. Stretching can increase flexibility and improve the range of motion of your joints. Stretching can also help prevent cramping, joint pain, soreness, and stiffness.
When to Stretch
I recommend always stretching before and after your workout.
- First, warm up with 5 minutes of some light cardio, think jumping jacks, jogging in place, or walking on a treadmill, etc.
- Next, stretch all of the muscle groups you’re about to stretch during your workout.
- After you’re warm and loose, start your workout.
- Cardio or weight training… it doesn’t matter because the warm-up needs to happen regardless of what you’re doing.
- After you’re done, cool down with some light cardio and stretch again.
Stretching this way ensures the best results and prevents the most problems.
How to Stretch
You can hold a stretch for up to 30 seconds, but I suggest holding stretches for about 4 counts or 2 breath cycles. (Inhale-exhale-inhale-exhale = 4 counts).
Make sure you stretch on both sides.
If you have a problem area or the stretch is particularly helpful for pain or discomfort, you may benefit from repeating the stretch.
If you have any health conditions or injuries, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which stretches are right for you.
Did this inspire you to start stretching? Let me know in the comments.
It works, if you work it. So work it! It’s worth it.
Your Coach and Biggest Cheerleader
Now that you know what to do AFTER your workout… here is a collection of my best workouts for you to do before you rock this stretching routine. Check them out here.
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Christina is a certified Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, & Holistic Fitness & Health Coach. After healing multiple personal health issues, getting off 7 meds, & losing 40 pounds, Christina teaches others how to get Happy, Healthy, & Fit quickly with the most delicious food and least intense workouts.