You Must Stretch If You Are Going To Do Any Activity

One of the often overlooked components of a fitness routine is stretching.

Many people get very caught up with their cardio and weight workouts and never take action to stretch, you must plan them down to the very last detail, and not let this other crucial form of exercise slip by the wayside. In order for you to be getting a complete workout and want to make sure you are dedicating at least a few minutes to performing stretching exercises.

How About Breathing?

Breathing is also a very important component of upper body stretches, as it will allow you to increase the range of motion as well. Before moving into position, take a deep breath in. Then, on the exhaling portion, move into position, focusing on feeling the muscles relax as you do so.

When your concentration level is high, you will find that the stretches are much easier to do.

While holding the stretch, with each breath in and out you take, try and move slightly deeper into position. Really pay attention to your shoulders at this time as that seems to be the one area of the body in particular that individuals like to tense up.

7 Stretching Exercises for Recovery – Best Training Tips – BPI Sports

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7 Stretching Exercises for Recovery

Before we break it down, here are some tips to keep in mind when performing stretching exercises:
1) Avoid static stretching (stretching while your body is at rest) before your workouts. This can cause injury and can actually decrease your strength. Wait until after your workout to apply the below stretching techniques.
2) Remember to breathe during each stretch, and especially while holding a stretch for several seconds. Your muscles need oxygen flow to perform to their full capacity. Just relax, breathe, and hold those stretches!
3) Be gentle with your body! If you’re holding a stretch and it’s causing immense pain, ease back off of it, readjust, then modify the stretch.
4) If you are sitting down for a majority of your day, make it a point to stretch out your hip flexors post-workout. For people with desk jobs, hip flexors will be the tightest, most tense muscle in your body.

HAMSTRING FLOOR STRETCH – targets lower back, hamstrings, hip flexors
1) While lying down, bring one leg up keeping it as straight as possible. Grab that leg with both hands and lock your fingers behind your leg pulling it towards you.
2) Hold for 30-40 seconds and then switch legs.

SPINAL STRETCH – targets back
1) While lying down, bend one knee and bring it across your body, knee almost touching the ground on the opposite side.
2) Hold for 20-40 seconds and switch over to the other side.

HIP FLEXOR STRETCH – targets hip flexors
1) Kneel down on your right knee and place your right foot flat on the ground. Make sure you keep your right heel in front of your knee to avoid knee injury.
2) Your back foot should be in-line with your thigh.
3) Square your hips and push into your hips stretching your groin.

LEGS UP THE WALL – targets lower back
1) Lay down with your butt against a wall, legs extended straight upwards on the wall.
2) You can place a block under your butt for an extra stretch.

1) Holding a light weight plates or dumbbells with a neutral grip, slowly rotate your arms inward and outward keeping your elbow at a 90 degree angle.

LATTISIMUS DORSI STRETCH – targets lats, obliques
1) Stand upright, feet shoulder width apart and bring both arms up to meet at the top. Stretch up and over to the right side focusing on stretching your side. Hold for 10 seconds and stretch over to the other side.

1) Stand facing the wall, about a half a foot away from it. Put your flexed foot against the wall and push towards the wall stretching out your calf. Repeat on the other foot.

PLEASE NOTE: All VIEWERS are advised to consult their physician before beginning any exercise and nutrition program. BPI and the contributors do not accept any responsibility for injury sustained as a result of following the advice or suggestions contained within the content of this VIDEO.

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Simple and Effective Stretch Exercise for Frozen Shoulder / Dr Mandell

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Many shoulder conditions lead to frozen shoulder syndrome, also known as adhesive capsulitis. Most people with shoulder pain do not take action to increase the range of motion in their shoulder joint. When the shoulder is left alone the shoulder pathology and pain usually continues to worsen.

Yoga Stretching & Mobility Workout: PM- Jane Fonda

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Yoga Stretching & Mobility Workout: PM- Jane Fonda is a calming, 10 minute evening Yoga series that is designed to open the chest and rib cage, restore mobility and alleviate stress that was accumulated during the day. Focus your breath and activate your core with Legendary Celebrity Fitness Expert, Jane Fonda as she guides you through this restorative evening routine from her all new “AM/PM Yoga for Beginners” fitness DVD that will relieve tension around the lower spine, mobilize the shoulders, and strengthen the upper back. Learn key moves to stretch out stiff muscles, tone the legs, abs, arms, chest and shoulders, and leave you feeling refreshed and renewed. This workout requires a sturdy chair with no arms and is great for all skill levels. Jane’s calming instruction will keep you inspired as you prevent injury and alleviate soreness associated with sitting for long periods and working at a desk. Relax and end your stressful day on a high note with one of the most popular names in fitness right from your own home. Look and feel your best as you energize your body, build strength and increase flexibility for a lean and toned Yoga body. Transform yourself with Jane Fonda on the BeFiT Channel. Tune in every weekday for newly-added FREE workouts. Click here for more Yoga Workouts: http://bit.ly/HCEl8M

Click here for Jane’s AM Yoga Abs & Back Workout:

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How Often Should You Stretch?

In terms of frequency of stretching, how often you choose to do it is really up to you, the more you can stretch the better your results will be. Some form of light stretching is always advisable after a weight lifting session as it will help to reduce the chances you suffer from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). It will also help your body to cool down after the workout and you will leave feeling more refreshed.

Don’t think that you have to be in the gym to get in a good stretching session either.

A very popular trick of the highly flexible ballet dancers or figure skaters is to stretch anytime they are watching TV.

Since it is very easy to perform these exercises on carpet in a small area, this should pose no problems. Plus, as long as you are stretching while watching TV, you know you won’t be eating! That is another great benefit for those of you out there who are trying to lose weight.

Some people also like to perform 10 minutes or so of stretching first thing in the morning to begin their day. This can have similar effects of that of a yoga session such as an increased calmness and a positive attitudeabout the day to come. Be sure if this is your choice however that you really pay attention to how far you are pushing your body as your muscles are now going to be most cold and tight immediately upon wakening.
If you can go outside (or alternatively if you have a treadmill at home jump on it) for 5 minutes to wake your muscles up first, that would be great. If that’s not an option, even just marching in place or walking up and down the stairs a few times can be sufficient.

Back stretches

Stretch exercise is better for relieve back pain than complete bed rest.

All movements of this Stretch Exercise focuses on the center of the body, the center being the point between the right and left side of the body and between the upper and lower half of the body.

An aged person can appear years younger with a lean and stronger core and a flexible spine he or she  achieves from these type of stretching and strengthening exercises.

Tips and Precautions Before You Start :-

  • Always wear comfortable clothes
  • Never force your body into difficult positions, it should be pain free.
  • The surface you exercise on should be flat and big enough to move freely.
  • You should realize that this is an exercise routine that you should follow regularly, it is not something you can do once a month and benefit from.
  • Pregnant women should only undertake exercise under guidance of a fully trained professional instructor because some of the exercises are contra-indicated for pregnant woman

Is it wise to stretch before exercising or not?

You should never ever stretch before doing weight training, as it will reduce the power of your lift and will cause loss in stability and this could lead to injury.

People who say dynamic stretching is good probably refer to activities-like baseball, etc., where you usually just warm-up by pitching a ball back & forth to the teammates or in sports-like, martial arts where stretching can prime the muscles in order to get them ready for use. . .

. . . if this is the case, stretching is good but definitely not before weight training.

One more question which might come to our minds would be that can we stretch between the sets or can we just sit and rest between stretches?

I would say no, as the idea of stretching between the sets is that you are cleaning your muscles out of the lactic acid when you do a stretch.

Stretching and the Gym

Imagine stretching of our biceps or chest to be similar like “ringing out a towel” that is soaked with some water. Therefore, if you do this, it presents same problem as written above by me, i.e., reduced power and losses of stability. It depends on your program and this is not such a big deal, but there is always a better side.

If you talk about between the sets, do some mild aerobic activity. Define your path through your gym between your machines and then walk up and down at a fast pace. When you do this, it cleans out much more lactic acid and will bring in much more oxygenated blood to the specific muscle you are training.

So it is for sure that do not ever just lie or sit and do nothing.
This can be considered as the worst form of relaxation technique.

One more thing to add that some difference between all your exercising activities must be taken into account.

It will be much more stressful for yourself to move from a fully relaxing position to a suddenly running position, rather than moving from a very slow jog to running position. Akin to this, it is much more stressful on your body to move from running too fast to fully relaxing. Least but not last, I would say it is much better to move from a fast paced run to a very slow jog and now to a fully relaxing position.
Again, This is another reason as it is just not good to sit between sets or running or jogging and to do nothing between the sets.

Partner Assisted Stretching

Another way you can really improve your flexibility is by using partner assisted stretching. To do this, have a partner slowly push whatever body part you are stretching slightly beyond your normal range of motion (it is most common to do this exercise with a hamstring stretch – you laying on your back while your partner pushes your leg towards your head).

After this is done then you are to start contracting the muscle and press against your partner, trying to move back into the normal position. Keep holding this contraction for about 20-30 seconds and then relax. As you relax your partner once again begins pushing on the body part and it is very likely that you will now be able to move further than before, thus increasing your range of body motion.

This is a effective exercise technique for those who are serious about their flexibility but caution should again be taken that you don’t push too far. It is much better to error on the side of slightly less than to pull a muscle as pulled muscles can take a long time to recover from.

So next time you are about to walk out of the gym before stretching, think again. You would be doing yourself a great injustice by not including some stretching as part of your workout routine. Even just ten minutes at the very end will go a long way to helping increase your flexibility and keeping you limber later on in life.