Stretching is like flossing: everyone knows they should do it, but isn’t it easy to forget? Stretching after a workout is particularly easy to skip – you’ve already put in the effort and time for your workout, so it’s tempting to call it a day after that.
However, whether you’ve been jogging, lifting weights or taking a spin class, there are some compelling reasons to include some post-workout stretches into your routine. Here are some tips you need to know about stretching after a workout, including why you should do it, which stretches to do and how to perform them properly.
5 Post-Workout Stretches
While the greatest post-exercise stretches vary depending on the type of workout performed, this stretching technique is a good one to try after a full-body strength-training workout.
You’ll need your body weight and an exercise mat to be comfortable.
Hold each stretch for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Perform the unilateral (on one side) motions for the same length of time on both sides.
1 – Quadruped Thoracic Rotation
- Begin on all fours with your hands positioned under your shoulders and your knees placed under your hips. Engage your core and maintain a flat back.
- Place your left hand on the back of your head as to not put pressure on your head or neck. Make sure your elbow points out to the left side. This is starting position.
- Gently rotate your head and shoulder toward your right hand on the floor.
- Next, invert the motion and rotate to the left and up so your elbow points toward the ceiling. Hold for a few seconds.
- Return to starting position. Continue this movement for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then repeat on the other side.
2 – Lying Pec Stretch
- Lie on your stomach with both arms extended to the sides placing your body in a T shape.
- Push off the ground with your left hand and bend your left knee for balance as you start to roll to your right side. You should feel this in your right-side pectoral muscles. As your mobility increases, you’ll be able to stretch farther and roll your body farther.
- Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Repeat on the other side.
3 – Lunge With Spinal Twist
- Begin standing with your feet together. Take a big step forward with your left foot so that you are in a staggered stance.
- Bend your left knee and drop into a lunge, keeping your right leg straight behind you with your toes on the ground so you feel a stretch at the front of your right thigh.
- Place your right hand on the floor and twist your upper body to the left as you extend your left arm toward the ceiling.
- Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat on the other side.
4 – Inchworm
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides. Bend at your waist and place your hands on the floor, bending your knees.
- Walk your hands forward to come into a high-plank position with your hands flat on the floor, wrists stacked under your shoulders and your core, quads and butt engaged. Pause for a second.
- Walk your hands back to your feet and stand to return to starting position.
- That’s 1 rep. Continue for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
5 – Child’s Pose
- Kneel on your mat with your knees wider than hip-width apart and your feet together behind you.
- Sit back on your heels (as best you can) and fold forward, resting your belly on your thighs. Extend your arms out in front of you and rest your forehead on the floor. You’ll feel this stretch in your shoulders and back, in addition to your hips and glutes.
- Gently press your chest and shoulders toward the ground to deepen the stretch.
- Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
How Long to Stretch
- Any kind of post-workout stretching is better than nothing. This post-workout technique doesn’t have to last an additional 30 minutes. Just performing a few minutes of stretching is better than nothing.
- Many ask how long to hold each stretch? Beginners can start with 30 seconds eventually up to a minute or so until the more comfortable you become.
REACH’s 2 STEP APPROACH TO RECOVERY THERAPY
1. IDENTIFY THE ROOT CAUSES OF YOUR ACHES AND PAINS
At Reach, we start your Stretch and Recovery journey with your Mobility Risk Factor Assessment. This assessment allows us to pinpoint the causes of your aches and pains, muscle imbalances and weakness, and posture or mobility limitations. After your assessment, we can proceed to step 2!
2. CUSTOMIZE YOUR RECOVERY THERAPY PROGRAM
Based on your Mobility Risk Factor Assessment, a custom Stretch & Recovery therapy plan will be created. The program is designed just for you and will target your areas of concern and interest. Each session includes a balanced blend of Corrective Stretch, Percussion, Compression, CBD, and Heat Vibration Therapy. This takes the guesswork out of choosing the Stretch and Recovery therapies that will be best for you!