Stretching is a vital part of your program and is often neglected by many. Exercise actually has the effect of tightening your muscles, so it is of great importance while your muscles are warm to stretch them after exercise returning them to their original lengths. This will prevent the risk of injury and stiffness and maintain good flexibility. Remember to hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds.
FULL BODY STRETCHING SEQUENCE
After a session grab your mat or towel, spread it out on the floor, lay down on your back and stretch out nice and long. Oh! What a feeling. Now we will follow the routine below in sequence.
Keeping your shoulder blades flat on the floor with your arms stretched out to the sides, bend your legs to 90 degrees. Allow your knees to drop to the floor together, without forcing them and making sure to keep your shoulder blades on the deck. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds minimum before repeating over the other side. Well done, now return to your favourite position( flat on your back ) stretch out, relax and prepare for your next stretch.
Now, keeping one foot on the floor, bend the knee of that leg. Cross the other leg over the first leg so that your ankle is resting above the knee. Reach through and lock your hands around the thigh of your first leg, smoothly pulling back toward you. You will feel a wonderful stretch in your buttocks and outer thigh. Excellent, now hold that stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
This stretch can be performed either lying or standing. It is important to keep the knees together while performing this stretch. Holding the front of your foot, bring one leg up behind you ( actually pulling the heel into your buttock ) Hold for a minimum of 30 seconds as you feel the stretch in your hip and thigh.
OUTER THIGH STRETCH
In a sitting position with your legs straight out in front of you, bring one leg up and cross it over the other leg. Supporting yourself with one arm, use the other arm to ease your knee across your body. You will feel the stretch through your outer thigh. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
INNER THIGH STRETCH
In a sitting position with your back straight, bring your heels together. Now, holding your ankles, pull your feet in towards you holding the stretch for 30 seconds. You will feel the stretch at your inner thighs as you let your knees drop toward the floor. To intensify this stretch, bring your body gently forward from the hips as you place your elbows on your knees.
In a sitting position with your legs straight and together, slowly and gently bend forward from the waist with fingers outstretched until you can feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Hold for 30 seconds. If your flexibility is insufficient in the early stages you can assist yourself by folding a towel length ways, looping it over your feet and holding both ends, gently ease yourself forward.
HAMSTRINGS STRETCH ( LYING )
Lie on your back with one leg bent to 90 degrees. Bring your other leg straight up toward you and grasp with both hands below the knee. Gently pull the leg toward you until you feel the stretch and hold for 30 seconds minimum.
HAMSTRING STRETCH ( STANDING )
With your hands on your thighs, place one heel in front of you. Bending your other knee slowly bend forward from your hips. You will feel the stretch at the back of your upper leg ( hamstring ) primarily, with some at the back of the knee and in the calf. Hold the stretch for your minimum 20 seconds, then to intensify the stretch slowly lean a bit further into the stretch, hold for another 20 seconds and repeat for the other leg.
Basically your calf muscle consists of your main muscle, ( gastrocnemius ) and the lesser ( soleus ) which is lower and runs underneath. Here are two stretches, one for each respectively.
Standing with your feet together, take a good step back with one leg keeping the foot flat on the deck, with the other leg slightly bent at the knee.
Your upper body weight is taken on the front leg while your feet are facing forward and your back is straight with both heels on the floor.
Intensity can be increased by taking your back leg further back and pushing into the heel. Hold all positions for your 20 seconds minimum and repeat with the other leg.
CALF STRETCH ( LOWER )
As with calf stretch above except that the back leg is bent at the knee with the step back being of a shorter distance. The stretch will be felt deep in the lower part of the leg.
Sitting with your legs slightly bent and feet hip-width apart, contract those abdominals ( pull them in ) while relaxing your neck and shoulders.
With your arms straight, interlock your hands behind your back, keeping your back nice and straight.
Now lift your arms up behind you until you feel the stretch across your chest, and hold for at least 20 seconds.
UPPER BACK STRETCH
Standing with your legs slightly bent and feet hip-width apart, tighten those tummy muscles.
Interlocking your fingers together, straighten your arms out in front of you.
Keeping your body upright with a firm lower back, push your hands away from you as you feel the stretch across your upper back and back of your shoulders. Hold stretch for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Standing or seated.
Lifting one arm, place the hand over your back reaching down your spine with fingers pointed downwards.
With your other hand grasp your elbow and gently pull back intensifying the stretch.
Hold for 20 seconds and repeat with other arm.
In conclusion exercise involves muscle contraction, causing them to tighten and shorten in length. It is most important to stretch our muscles back to their original length immediately after exercising whilst they are still warm.
Stretching is a habit you must get into. Without it you leave yourself open to injury, reduced flexibility, soreness and stiffness. After every session spend 10 minutes minimum on a full body stretching routine.
In this article you have your full body stretching program explained in detail for you, by downloading a copy of Slim Supple & Strong you will not only have your complete answer to the sustainable NEW YOU, but all the above stretches will be demonstrated in detail for you.