Full Body Stretch

Professional sprinters sometimes spend an hour warming up for a race that lasts about 10 seconds. In fact, it’s common for several athletes to perform dynamic stretches in their warmup and static stretches in their cooldown to assist keep their muscles healthy.

Even if you’re not an athlete, including stretches in your daily routine has many benefits. Not only can stretching assist you avoid injuries, it’s going to also help hamper age-related mobility loss and improve circulation.

Let’s take a better check out the various benefits of full-body stretching and the way to create a stretching routine that targets all of your major muscle groups.

What are the advantages of stretching?

Stretching regularly can have benefits for both your mental and physical health. a number of the key benefits include:

  • Decreased injury risk. Regular stretching may help reduce your risk of joint and muscle injuries.
  • Improved athletic performance. that specialize in dynamic stretches before exercising may improve your athletic performance by reducing joint restrictions, consistent with a 2018 scientific reviewTrusted Source.
  • Improved circulation. A 2015 studyTrusted Source of 16 men found that a 4-week static stretching program improved their vessel function.
  • Increased range of motion. A 2019 studyTrusted Source of 24 young adults found that both static and dynamic stretching can improve your range of motion.
  • Less pain. A 2015 studyTrusted Source on 88 university students found that an 8-week stretching and strengthening routine was ready to significantly reduce pain caused by poor posture.
  • Relaxation. many of us find that stretching with deep and slow breathing helps promote feelings of relaxation.

When to stretch

There are some ways to stretch, and a few sorts of stretches are better at certain times. Two common sorts of stretches include:

  • Dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretching involves actively moving a joint or muscle through its full range of motion. This helps get your muscles warmed up and prepared for exercise. samples of dynamic stretches include arm circles and leg swings.
  • Static stretches. Static stretching involves stretches that you simply hold in situ for a minimum of 15 seconds or longer without moving. This helps your muscles relax , especially after exercise.
  • Before exercise
  • Warm muscles tend to perform better than cold muscles. It’s important to incorporate stretching in your warmup routine so you’ll get your muscles ready for the upcoming activity.

Although it’s still a subject of debate, there’s some evidenceTrusted Source that static stretching before exercise can reduce power and strength output in athletes.

If you’re training for an influence or speed-based sport, you’ll want to avoid static stretching in your warmup and choose dynamic stretching instead.

After exercise

Including static stretching after your workout may help reduce muscle sorenessTrusted Source caused by strenuous exercise.

It’s an honest idea to stretch all parts of your body, with a stress on the muscles you used during your workout.

After sitting and before bed

Static stretching activates your parasympathetic systema nervosum consistent with a 2014 study of 20 young adult males.

Your parasympathetic systema nervosum is liable for your body’s rest and digestive functions. this might be why many of us find stretching before bed helps them relax and de-stress at the top of the day.

Stretching after a period of prolonged inactivity can help increase blood flow to your muscles and reduce stiffness. this is often why it feels good — and is useful — to stretch after awakening or after sitting for an extended period of your time .

How to do a full-body stretching routine

When producing a full-body stretching routine, aim to incorporate a minimum of one stretch for every major muscle group in your body.

You may find that certain muscles feel particularly stiff and wish extra attention. for instance people that sit tons often have tight muscles in their neck, hips, legs, and upper back.

To target particularly stiff areas, you can:

  • perform multiple stretches for that muscle group
  • hold the stretch longer
  • perform the stretch quite once

Calf stretch

Muscles stretched: calves

When to perform: after running or any time you’ve got tight calves
Safety tip: Stop immediately if you are feeling pain in your Achilles tendon , where your calf attaches to your ankle.

How to do that stretch:

  • Stand together with your hands against the rear of a chair or on a wall.
  • Stagger your feet, one ahead of the opposite . Keep your back leg straight, your front knee slightly bent, and both feet flat on the bottom .
  • Keeping your back knee straight and back your foot flat on the bottom , bend your front knee to lean toward the chair or wall. do that until you are feeling a mild stretch within the calf of your back leg.
  • Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Leg swings

  • Muscles stretched: hips, inner thigh, glutes
  • When to perform: before a workout
  • Safety tip: Start with smaller swings and make each swing bigger as your muscles loosen.

How to do that stretch:

  • Stand together with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Balancing on your left leg, swing your right leg back and forth ahead of your body, only going as far as is comfortable.
  • Perform 20 reps.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Hamstring stretch

  • Muscles stretched: hamstring, lower back
  • When to perform: after your workout, before bed, or when your hamstrings are tight
  • Safety tip: If you can’t touch your toes, try resting your hands on the bottom or on your leg instead.

How to do that stretch:

  • Sit on a soft surface, with one leg straight call at front of you. Place your opposite foot against the inner thigh of your straight leg.
  • While keeping your back straight, lean forward and reach for your toes.
  • When you feel a stretch within the back of your extended leg, hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Standing quadriceps stretch

  • Muscles stretched: quadriceps
  • When to perform: after running or whenever your thighs feel tight
  • Safety tip: Aim for a mild stretch; overstretching can cause your muscles to become tighter.

How to do that stretch:

  • Stand upright and pull your right foot to your butt, holding it there together with your right .
  • Keep your knee pointing downward and your pelvis tucked under your hips throughout the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Glute stretch

  • Muscles stretched: glutes, hips
  • When to perform: after running or before bed
  • Safety tip: Stop if you are feeling pain in your knees, hips, or anywhere else.

How to do that stretch:

  • Lie on your back together with your legs up and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Cross your left ankle over your right knee.
  • Grab your right leg (either over or behind your knee) and pull it toward your face until you are feeling a stretch in your opposite hip.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Upper back stretch

  • Muscles stretched: back, shoulders, neck
  • When to perform: after prolonged sitting or whenever your back is stiff
  • Safety tip: attempt to stretch each side equally. Don’t force the stretch beyond what’s comfortable.

How to do that stretch:

  • Sit during a chair together with your back straight, core engaged, and ankles in line together with your knees.
  • Twist your body to the proper by pushing against the proper side of the chair together with your left .
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Chest stretch

  • Muscles stretched: chest, biceps, shoulders
  • When to perform: after long periods of sitting
  • Safety tip: Stop immediately if you are feeling discomfort in your shoulder.

How to do that stretch:

  • Stand in an open doorway and place your forearms vertically on the doorframe.
  • Lean forward until you are feeling a stretch through your chest.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Neck circles

  • Muscles stretched: neck
  • When to perform: after sitting or whenever your neck feels tight
  • Safety tip: It’s normal to possess one side that feels tighter than the opposite . Try holding the stretch longer on the side that feels tighter.

How to do that stretch:

  • Drop your chin toward your chest.
  • Tilt your head to the left until you are feeling stretch the proper side of your neck.
  • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

The bottom line

Stretching regularly can:

  • improve your range of motion
  • reduce your risk of injury
  • improve circulation
  • boost athletic performance

If you’re looking to make a full-body stretching routine, attempt to choose a minimum of one stretch that targets each major muscle group.

The stretches covered during this article are an honest start, but there are many other stretches you’ll increase your routine.

If you’ve got an injury or want to understand what sorts of stretches may go best for you, make certain to speak with a licensed personal trainer or physiotherapist .

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