Major stretching benefits:
• Increased movement efficiency
• Decreased risk of injury
• Increased blood supply and nutrients to joint structures
• Increased neuromuscular coordination
• Decreased risk of low back pain
• Reduced muscular tension
• Improved balance and postural awareness
The routine below is a basic static stretching routine designed to complete on an exercise mat at the end of your workout. It takes 5-10 minutes max and you can get all the preceding benefits.
• Hold each stretch for 5-15 seconds and perform desired repetitions, repeat each side.
• You should feel mild discomfort as you stretch, but nothing too intense
• Don’t bounce as you stretch, just relax and exhale as you stretch the muscle
KNEELING HIP FLEXOR STRETCH
Keeping Glutes squeezed, body upright, drive your hip forward and your knee into the ground. Hold for a few seconds and then repeat for 8-10 repetitions before repeating on the opposite side. Your iliopsoas muscle, one of the main hip flexors, is a deep muscle that requires isometric activation to stretch it.
Sink into a deep lunge with your hands on the ground and place your forward foot outside your hand. Hold for 5-10 seconds and switch sides. Repeat 2-5 times each side.
Lay flat on your back with both knees bent. Cross one leg over the other so your foot is on the opposite knee. Bring both knees towards your chest and gently pull the uncrossed leg towards you until you feel a stretch in your buttock. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on opposite side, repeat 3-5 times each side.
Keep your right leg forward, foot flat on the floor, and extend your left leg straight back, placing your heel flat on the floor. Don’t bend your back knee. Lean into the wall until you feel the stretch in the calf of the straight leg. Hold for 20 seconds and switch sides. Repeat 3-5 times each side.
Sit of the floor with one leg straight out in front and point your toes upwards. Bring your other foot towards your knee and reach towards your toes with both hands.(You don’t have to touch your toes, reach down your leg past your knee and focus on stretching your hamstring) As you lean forward keep your back straight and DON’T let your shoulders round forward.
Give these stretches a go 2 – 3 times a week and see how much more flexible you feel through legs, hips and butt.