I think that people often underestimate stretching before and after workouts. I know it can be easy to skip because, if you are like me, you might be ready to move on to the next thing you have going on. I mean, I know how important stretching is and I really enjoy stretching my muscles, but sometimes I am ready to be done with my workout and move on. I try to put on a relaxing song to enjoy while I stretch out my muscles, it makes it a little more enjoyable! When you warm up before starting your workout, take the time to stretch. Then, when you complete your workout, don't forget your cool down stretch. Here are some benefits that your muscles will thank you for:
1. Stretching can reduce your risk of injury and stiffness.
2. You can improve your flexibility each time you stretch.
3. You can decrease the muscle fatigue.
4. Once you stretch, you are helping your muscles recover from a tough workout.
5. It is vital to stretch when your body is warm so you increase blood circulation.
If you want to help your muscles recover even more, you can invest in a foam roller. Foam rollers help you have much less muscle tension and pain if you use them multiple times a week!
For this week, I would recommend doing some basic stretches for your whole body. Of course, there are endless stretches to complete and it can be nice to just focus on the area that you worked out. Below are stretch exercises that I challenge you to complete before and after your workouts this week! If you aren't sure what they are, you can google the stretch to see what it is supposed to look like.
Hold each stretch for a minimum of 12 seconds. Think about taking at least two deep breaths during your stretch.
Forward Fold Stretch