The Fitness Zone
If you are feeling a little tight or even a little low then a good stretch is beneficial for both your body and your mind. While the benefits of daily workouts are numerous and well known, the benefits of a regular stretch routine are far less emphasized but just as important. Here current Master Trainer student and culinary superstar Hayden Quinn shows us his three essential stretches you must be doing as we explore the benefits.
Clearly is it best to stretch all major muscles. By doing so it promotes a healthy blood flow and fluid exchange which keeps your muscles well nourished for optimal functionality and will reduce the risk of injury. But if you are pressed for time and can’t stretch all major muscle groups try and spend a couple of minutes daily stretching your hamstrings. It is important to stretch your hammys as they can be the cause of, not only tight legs and poor range of movement in your lower body, but also tightness in your back.
Before you stretch make sure your muscles are warm. Take a walk around your house if you are stretching at home and get the blood flowing as this will help prevent a strain. For a hamstring stretch, you can take a stance like Hayden has, taking your feet wide and hinging forward from your hips, with straight legs. When you start to feel tension in the back of your thighs, try and hold the stretch for 30 seconds then release the tension. Repeat this 3 - 5 times, you should start to notice an increase in flexibility almost straight away!
We use our arms in almost all of our everyday activities. From reaching overhead to stretching out to pick something up, our arms work via a combination of different muscles working together so it makes sense that we spend time stretching these muscles right?
By releasing tension in our triceps (the back of our upper arm) everyday movements and sport specific activities that you may do, such as catching and passing a ball will be a lot more comfortable actioning. The best way to increase flexibility and range of motion in this area of our arm is shown by the stretch Hayden illustrates above. With your feet in a neutral position, take one arm up and over your head with your palm back facing. Using your other hand apply pressure to the elbow in a downward direction (as strong as you like) and you should feel a stretch from your shoulder to your elbow down your tricep. Hold this for 30 seconds before you release the tension and repeat on each arm 3 times.
The shoulders are a very important and often neglected part of the body. If you find you suffer from aches and pains in your shoulders after a workout, or even from lifting boxes or heavy objects around the house it is probably due to a lack of flexibility and mobility in the muscle and the joint it surrounds. By having flexible shoulders you are able to increase strength in this area and as a result decrease the amount of pressure put on the bones, joints and ligaments.
By carrying out Isolated shoulder stretches you will improve the blood flow in the muscle groups that make up your shoulders and also warm up your shoulders for heavy work outs.
Hayden illustrates your go-to shoulder stretch you can do wherever you are, NO excuses. Take one arm across your body, while using your other arm to draw it across your body further. As you initiate a slight pulling motion you should feel a stretch across your shoulder. Hold this stretch from 30 seconds and repeat on each arm 3 times.