We hear over and over that it’s important to stretch after a workout but do you know why? Fitness expert Andrea Metcalf says that when we work out, our muscles contract and tighten, and stretching helps to restore them to their normal position and reduce stress put on our joints. Stretching also helps to increase blood flow and reduce post-workout swelling. Try these 5 stretches suggested by Andrea after your next sweat session.
Side Stretch with Foot Cross
Try this stretch to help stretch out your obliques and all along your side body. To begin, step one foot behind the other. Lean to the side with one arm extended overhead and the other sliding down your stationary leg.
This chest stretch is great after strength training, or after spending a day at your desk! For this stretch, hold your arms wide to a “T” position and place your palms on the doorway as your lean your chest forward until you feel a stretch.
Active Calf Stretch
Active stretches are great to help lengthen your muscles without putting too much stress on them, and can also be used to help prep your body for a workout. To perform the active calf stretch, walk on your tiptoes, taking 20 walking steps with your toes lifted.
Legs swings help to loosen the glutes and hamstrings while opening up your hip. For this stretch, stand on one leg, swinging your raised leg back and forth and side to side, 5 times on each leg. Hold on to a wall for support as necessary, and work on building up to balancing.
Hip Lunge Stretch
Stand in split stance like a lunge, but keep your back knee slightly bent as you draw your belly button in and tuck your pelvis under, squeezing your glutes for a deeper stretch.
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