Been working hard at the gym and invested all your energy in an intense workout? This may be extremely painful right now! I’m sure that you feel the soreness in every muscle, but you can ease the pain by exercising again. Only this time, you should stretch a bit, not working as a maniac!
Keep in mind! To avoid any muscle soreness after gym, you should stretch at least 5 minutes after each intense workout. This way you will recover quickly, and you will less soreness the next day.
Stretching can increase mobility, flexibility, improve circulation and it will prevent you from injuring during practice.
Important! Remember to stretch to the point of mild discomfort, not pain!
1. Lunge With Twist
Image Credits: Lunge With Twist
Start standing, feet hip width. Take a huge step forward with left foot and lower until left knee is bent to 90 degrees, right leg is straight. Place both hands on mat on either side of left foot for support. This is a runner’s lunge position. From here, twist to the left from the waist as you draw left hand and gaze up toward ceiling. You’ll feel this in your right hip flexor, lower back, and glute. Return hand to starting position and repeat on other leg.
2. Triangle Stretch
Image Credits: Triangle Stretch
Stand with feet wide apart. Keep left toes straight and rotate right thigh open until right toes point directly to the side. Keeping both legs straight, ground through your feet and lift through your thighs. Spread arms wide at shoulder height, roll your front thigh open, and hinge at the front hip. Lengthen your spine toward front foot and release right palm to the right shin, ankle, or mat. Repeat on other side.
3. Wall Calf Stretch
Image Credits: Wall Calf Stretch
Start standing and facing a wall. Shift weight to left leg and place right toes up on wall with heel on floor. Rest hands on wall for support then slowly lean in toward wall to feel the stretch in your calf deepen. Gently push into left leg for more depth. Hold then repeat on other leg.
4. Child’s Pose
Image Credits: Child’s Pose
Start kneeling on all fours. Send hips back to sit on heels, toes touching, forehead to mat, belly resting between legs. From here, reach arms straight out in front of you to feel stretch in lower back. Optional: Slowly walk hands to right side to feel stretch along left side body, then walk hands to left side to feel stretch along right side body.
5. Walking Toe Touch
Image Credits: Walking Toe Touch
To warm up those hammies, from standing, bring right leg straight out in front of you and reach left fingertips out to touch your toes. Keep a tall posture (don’t lean forward). If you can’t reach toes, just get as close as possible. Alternate with each leg as you walk forward. (Basically just pretend you’re a toy solider, and you’ll be good to go.)
Image Credits: Squat
You might not like ’em, but squats are one of the best moves to activate your glutes. Stand with feet just wider than hip width, hips stacked over knees, knees over ankles. Hinge at hips then send hips back and bend knees to lower body. Keep chest lifted and lower to at least 90 degrees. You can raise arms overhead for balance if you want. Rise and repeat. For more details on how to squat.
7. Bridge Pose
Image Credits: Bridge Pose
Lie faceup and place feet flat on the ground, hip-width distance apart, knees bent. Press into heels and use butt to lift hips up, forming a straight line from shoulders to knees. Shimmy shoulders underneath you for support. Slowly lower hips back down and repeat.
8. Seated Twist
Image Credits: Seated Twist
Begin in a runner’s lunge position: From standing, take a big step forward with right leg and bend knee at a 90-degree angle, knee stacked directly over ankle. Keep left leg straight and back tall. You’ll feel this in your left hip flexor. If this is enough of a stretch for you, stop there. If you have more flexibility, bend at the waist and bring hands to the floor on the inside of right leg. If this is enough, stop there. If not, bend elbows to get forearms down to mat until you feel the stretch. Repeat on the other side as flexibility allows.
9. Hamstring and Calf Stretch
Image Credits: Hamstring and Calf Stretch
Start standing and take a small step forward with left leg. With a slight bend in right knee, hinge at hips and fold over straight left leg, resting fingertips on mat for support. You should feel a stretch along the back of your left leg. Then, flex ankle and use hands to pull left toes toward you to deepend the stretch in your calf. Hold then repeat on other leg.
10. Pigeon Stretch
Image Credits: Pigeon Stretch
While the name may not sound that appealing, pigeon is likely to be your new favorite stretch. Start in a downward-facing dog position. Bring right leg forward and lay right shin down on mat with right foot flexed and knee bent. Try to get your shin as parallel to top of mat as possible. Keep left leg straight out behind you with top of foot on floor (don’t let left leg roll open out of alignment). This may be enough for you. For a deeper stretch, crawl fingertips forward as far as possible to fold torso over right leg. Hold then repeat on other leg.
Image Credits: Greatist