It’s easy to overlook one very important aspect of exercise – stretching! We’ve heard how important stretching is – it can improve flexibility and range of motion, increase efficiency and decrease your risk of injury. Here are some great stretches to help you focus on commonly missed areas. Even if you do stretch before exercising, these tips can help refresh your routine!
Begin with your legs in-line with your shoulders. Keeping one foot planted in this position, move your other leg out to the side while bending the knee. Push off with this foot and return to a standing position for one rep. Make sure to do both sides. This stretch will work your quads, glutes and inner thigh.
Start off in a front lunge position and drop the back knee to the ground. Then reach back with the same side arm and lift your back foot from the floor toward your buttocks, gripping the toes. Hold this for 30 seconds, then return to a high lunge and switch sides. It will stretch your hips and the front of your thighs.
Standing with your legs at shoulder width, take one foot and plant your toes firmly on the ground just behind the other foot. Gently pull your leg forward so you can feel the stretch throughout your shin. Make sure to do both sides and hold for at least 20-30 seconds. This will stretch out your calf muscles and can help reduce your risk of shin splints.
In other words, stretching your ankle area. Sit in a firm chair, legs shoulder width apart. Lift one foot up and rest it over the opposite knee. With the opposite hand, firmly grasp your foot and gently rotate it clockwise throughout the full range of motion about 20 times. Then rotate it counterclockwise. Return your foot to the floor and lift your other foot over the opposite leg. Repeat the rotations for this ankle as well. You’ll stretch your ankle muscles, create better ankle flexibility and prevent against sprains.
Lie flat on your back with your legs straight out. Bring one knee up towards your chest and across your body, bringing the inner knee down to touch the floor on the opposite side of your body. You can use your hands to push the knee and increase the stretch. You may not be able to touch the floor, but should get as close as you can. Hold this for 20-30 seconds and bring your leg back to a straight position. Switch legs. This will stretch your lower back and give you more range of motion at the back and waist. It can relive tension and pain.
Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com
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