One of the most ignored aspects of our fitness routine or even body-building routine are the stretches. Stretches are ignored by most of us, which we simply push off for the next time; little do we realize that we are leaving out an important part of our fitness training. Stretching increases our flexibility, relaxes our muscles, helps us warm up and prevents injuries. There are many different types of stretches, each working for specific parts of our body, while there are stretches which are meant to work for the whole body. You just need to know why you are stretching and which exercise suits you the most.
Body Stretches For Everyone
Start by standing tall, keeping your foot shoulder length apart. Put your hands on chair or on the wall. Your heels will be on the ground and your knees straight as you lean into the chair or the wall. Each stretch will be of 30 seconds. This calf stretch is very useful for those suffering from knee pain, hip, shin and foot. It also keeps the Achilles tendon safeguarded.
Wall Shin Raises
Start by standing tall, keeping your back to the wall. Your heels will be a foot away from wall. Your body shall rest on wall. Start bringing your toes upwards, your both ankles will come up as your heels are in touch with ground. You need to stretch your toes up as much as you can. Lower the feet back to ground and ensure that your toes are away and do not touch the ground. You should do 3 sets. Each should be of 15 repetitions.
Standing Side Stretch
Stand straight as you keep your feet together. Your arms will be straight overhead. Now, clasp hands together. Your fingers will be interlocked and pointer fingers well extended. You need to inhale as you move to reach upward. Breathe out when you bend the upper body to your right. You should take six slow breaths. Now, you can get back to the starting position. Do the entire stretch for your left side.
Shoulder And Chest Stretch
Sit as you clasp your hands at your back. keep your arms straight. Now, lift your hands up, towards the ceiling. Try as high as you are comfortable. You will feel a good stretch in your chest and shoulders. An excellence exercise for your whole body. A good exercise which works well on your chest and shoulder muscles. This can be done in all age groups.
Start by stepping your right foot a bit forward. Lower to a lunge position. Keep your fingertips on floor or if you have firm cushions, you can place them there too, in case your hands do not reach. Breathe in and in a single motion, you should exhale while straightening your right leg. Get back to lunge position. This should be repeated at least four times. Switch sides and repeat.
Shin Resistance Stretch
An excellent stretch which strengthens your lower leg and helps in reducing shin splints occurrences. You need to sit on floor and then slowly loop an exercise band just in front of your feet. Take the other end of this band, wrap it around a table or any kind of stationery object for additional support. You need to dorsiflex your foot well against this resistance. Do this in sets of 4. Repeat it at least 15 times. You can increase resistance levels with the use of heavier bands. You can also double the repetitions if you are comfortable and you do not feel any pain.
Low Lunge Arch
Step a foot forward and get into a good lunge position. You should lower the left knee on floor using a blanket or a folded towel. You need to bring your arms comfortably in front of your right leg at this stage. Your thumb should be hooked together comfortably. Ensure that your palms are facing down, towards the floor. Remember to breathe in gently, as you move your arms overhead. Keep your breathing normal and regular. You should stretch as much as you can backwards. Breathe slowly and count 10. Switch sides and stretch again.
Start by standing tall with your hips straight and feet together. Next, you should start bending your right knee backwards. You need to have your right foot ( front) in your hand. Your knees will be even as you gently bend the right knee backwards. As you do this, continue keeping your body straight as much as possible and comfort level. Hold this stretch as you feel it on your quadriceps. Do this for in sets of 3 or 5 and hold on for 30 seconds at least.Do these stretches on a regular basis and you will be healthy, fit and relaxed.