Stretch It – Stretch It Real Good!
When it comes to squeezing in a quick workout, the number one thing people often neglect is the all-important stretch! I get it – the sweat seems more valuable than the cool down. But the truth is when you do that, you’re missing out on an important part of your workout!!!
Last week I talked about not being afraid of getting bulky from picking up weights. Well stretching is a SUPER important part of making sure you get long and lean defined muscles. Stretching keeps you flexible, strong, and healthy!
What are the benefits of stretching? It can improve your posture (humps aren’t sexy!), reduce pain, prevent injury and muscle soreness. Most importantly, stretching helps improve your range of motion(ROM). As you build and tone with resistance training, you work your muscles through the full ROM. This helps you improve your overall strength and achieve lean muscle mass. Stretching helps you relax and lengthen your short and tight muscles, allowing your joints to move throughout the range better. Not to mention it just feels sooooo good after a workout!
Next time you’re in a rush...
...Give your body what it needs and try these five stretches. You will thank yourself!
When you are stretching, hold for a minimum of 30 seconds - this time gives your muscle the ability to relax so it can lengthen in during stretch.
1. Pigeon Pose – Stretches your piriformis muscle (your tushy!)
2. Kneeling Lunge with Overhead Triceps – Stretches your hip flexors, triceps, and lat muscles (and it hurts so good!)
5. Doorway Stretch – I am a fan of stretching on the go, pretty much every time I walk through a doorway, I do this one! Stretches your pec muscles!
Jenna Webster, ACSM, ACE – Personal trainer specializing in empower busy women to live healthy and active lifestyles!”