Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Flex your muscle with some Stretching exercises.

Stretching is a critical part of any workout. Stretches should be done both before and after exercising. It helps to prevent injury while exercising, and to aid in recovery after a workout. If you spend a few minutes watching athletes of different sports you will soon realise how differently they carry out stretching.

Few might ask: “Why should we stretch at all?”

The reasons are
  • To increase muscle length permanently.
  • To prevent muscle bulk formation, especially the calf muscles.
  • To reduce tension in the muscle. Sometimes a muscle can hurt if we have held an awkward position for a while, or if we are much stressed.
  • To reduce the risk of muscle injury. If a muscle is more stretchy  then it is less likely to be overstretched when we exercise.

The Different Types of Stretching are: ballistic stretching, dynamic stretching, active stretching, passive stretching, static stretching, isometric stretching, and PNF stretching. Although there are various types of stretching:  the Two Basic Types of Stretches are the Ballistic Stretch and the Static Stretch but I have figure it down to Two simple types of Stretching & they are : Upper Body Stretching  & Lower body stretching.

Upper Body Stretch.
    Neck Stretch :Put your chin to your chest, and let gravity pull the weight of your head forward. Let your head drop to the right toward your shoulder. Drop your head to the back, so that you are looking up. You should feel the stretch in the front of your neck. Finally, let your head fall toward the left shoulder, so that you feel the stretch on the right side of your neck.

    Shoulder Stretch : Take your right hand and, going over your shoulder, place it as far down your back as possible. Place your left hand on your right elbow and push backward. You should feel the stretch in your right shoulder area. Switch arms and repeat.

    Upper Arm Stretch : Cross your right arm across your chest toward your left side, keeping your elbow straight. With the inside of your left elbow or your left hand, push your right arm back toward your body. You should feel the stretch in your right upper arm and shoulder. Switch arms and repeat.

    Upper Back Stretch: Clasp your hands together in front of your body. Straighten your elbows, keeping your hands clasped and your palms facing outward. Let your shoulders shift forward, and push your hands out away from your body. You should feel a stretch in your upper back area.

    Abdomen Stretch: Clasp your hands together above your head. Straighten your arms up as much as possible, and pull your hands away from your body. You may bend back slightly to deepen the stretch.

    Lower Back Stretch: Start in a seated position, with your legs out in front of you. Bend your right knee to a 90 degree angle, and place your right foot on the outer side of your left leg so that your right leg is crossed over your left. Your left leg should remain straight. Twist your torso to the right, placing your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. Push your elbow against your knee as leverage to deepen the stretch if possible.

Lower Body Workouts.
    Hamstring Stretch: Stand with your feet slightly apart (about 6 inches). Bend over at the waist and let your upper body hang down. Reach your hands toward the ground. You can bend your knees slightly. For a deeper stretch, grasp your calves and gently pull your upper body toward your legs.

    Thigh Stretch: Stand with your feet slightly apart. Bend your right foot back and up toward your buttocks, and grasp it with your right hand. Balancing on your left leg, pull your right foot up with your right hand. To help you balance, pick a stationary spot in front of you to stare at and lift your free arm out to the side.

    Calf Stretch: Stand with right leg straight and behind you. Your left leg should be bent in front of you. Place most of your weight onto your left leg. Push the heel of your right foot down toward the ground, and slightly shift your weight back keeping your torso upright. You should feel a stretch in your right calf.

Check out my videos about Stretching exclusively on Sweat It Out

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