It's time to train, but no training is complete without knowing how to stretch muscles properly. Your body is the vehicle that enables athletic prowess and a long life, so it is important to treat it as such. There is more to figuring out how to stretch muscles than that ole' cherry picker stance. After all, when you stretch muscles, there are so many groups to consider.
Check out what you'll need to stretch muscles below:
- Athletic gear (a tank top and gym shorts)
- Tennis shoes
- Short socks
- A buddy
- Loosen up your head, neck and shoulders. The top part of your body is where we will begin to stretch muscles. Roll your shoulders back in circles for twenty count, then forward for another twenty. Drop your chin to that chest of yours, move it in a 360 degree circle around five times, then another five in the other direction. Don't do get too dizzy! Lastly, say "ahhhh" really long, giving that jaw a good warm up.
- Stretch your arms. When you stretch muscles, it's important not to forget the often neglected arms. Reach behind your head as if you were to scratch your back. Push that arm back with your other at the elbow; hold to a count of twenty. Hold your arms out afterwards, bend the wrists backward and hold to a count of ten. Repeat until loose.
- Relax that core. Knowing how to stretch muscles isn't limited to the limbs. Raise your right hand up, then bend towards the left; hold the count for as long as is comfortable. Repeat with the right-hand side. Lay down face down after you finish the first exercise, then flex your back, attempting to touch your toes to that head of yours.
- Loosen the legs. Last but not least is the lower body. Lower your upper body by leaning forward and attempting to touch those toes for yours. Try to keep that position for fifteen seconds each round; these are what is called "cherry pickers". After you do a few sets, move on to the hamstrings: grab your left leg from behind your back, and hold on for twenty seconds. Switch and repeat as necessary to get rid of tension.
Knowing how to stretch muscles is extremely vital when it comes to injury avoidance. Not only this, but a pulled or torn muscle could effectively end an athletic season prematurely. Isn't it worth the time to stretch the muscles vital in your exercise? So, stretch muscles with confidence, and always be aware of potential muscle harm due to "cold" exercising.