Stretching is a complete activity that can help you loosen up stiff joints and stretch your entire body. Anyone can do it, either as a stand-alone activity or in conjunction with another sport. It can be used to help you with four different objectives:
Recovering flexibility after sport
In this article, we'll mainly focus on stretching as a warm-up for your muscles. Doing these exercises before every workout will give you better results because well-stretched muscles will contract better! The various stretches given here will help you sustain physical activity and limit the risk of injuries such as tendinitis or pulled muscles. With a bit of practice, you'll start to notice an improvement in your posture too!
Warming Up Before Working Out
These stretches are meant to be done together as a series. We suggest repeating the entire series three times in a row. For each exercise, remember to breathe as you stretch. When holding the stretch, breath slowly and calmly. Hold each stretch for 15 to 20 seconds.
Tips from Domyos Club Coach Emilie:
Always warm up before stretching to prevent injury.
It's best to stretch in a warm room or cover up if it's cold.
Stretch slowly and gradually.
Hydrate before and after stretching.
Do the following exercises as a series.
Inhale and raise your arms above your head. Exhale and release your arms. Repeat 5 times in total.
Inhale and raise your arms above your head as you rise up on to your toes, exhale, then relax and lean your upper body forwards. Repeat 3 times in total.
Inhale and raise your arms above your head, rise up on to your toes and completely relax and fold forwards. Slowly roll back up, one vertebra at a time.
Upper Body - Exercise 1
Targeted muscles: back, waist, abs.
Performing the exercise: Inhale and raise your arms above your head, pressing your palms towards the ceiling. Stretch your entire body, without bringing your shoulders up. From here, lean the upper body to the right, then do the same to the left. Come back to the centre, then push up while rounding your back.
Lower Body - Exercise 1
Targeted muscles: abductors, hamstrings.
Performing the exercise: Relax your body, then bend your right knee, bringing your heel towards your bum and keeping the left leg straight. Repeat on the other side.
Targeted muscles: all posterior muscles: calves, hamstrings, glutes and back.
Performing the exercise: Bring your feet together and fold forwards with your chest against your legs. Roll back up.
At the end of the circuit, lean your head to the right, then to the left, and make two complete circles with your head in each direction. Roll your shoulders backwards a few times. And that's it - you're all ready for your workout!
There are two schools of thought when it comes to stretching after sport: one shouts from the rooftops that it is essential after physical effort, while the other claims that it's a complete waste of time and that the movements are absolutely useless. Who should we believe? Let's try to understand by comparing the two cases.