24 Pictures That Show Which Muscle You Are Stretching During Your Exercise!
Stretching is a critical part of a comprehensive exercise program; however, it often becomes the overlooked third wheel of the cardio-strength training dynamic duo. Stretching is essential for safe and effective movement and for overall health. Stretching promotes flexibility and brings nutrients and oxygen to the muscles and joints decreasing risk for injury and minimizing pain.
Though you may conjure up images of yogi’s twisted into impossible positions, stretching is actually easy to do. A program of simple, focused stretches is all you need to enhance your performance, reduce pain and even improve your posture. Here are a few important guidelines for stretching:
- Stretch when muscles are warm after cardio, a warm shower or a few minutes of dynamic movement.
- Stretch at least 2 times per week or daily if more stiff, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
- Do not rush stretching. Hold each stretch at least 20-60 seconds.
- Do not stretch to the point of pain, you should only feel gentle tension. Back off if you feel pain or pressure in the joints.
Now you know WHY stretching is important, HOW to stretch safely, but there is one more important factor….WHAT stretches will you do?
Below are examples of versatile stretches that can become a part of your stretching routine.
1 Camel Pose
Start sitting on your heels, reach your hands back for your feet and raise the hips toward the ceiling. Be careful not to hyper-extend the lower back or drop the head.