One thing that always seems to get forgotten after a good workout? Stretching.
Post workout stretches have a number of beneficial effects for your body, including aiding muscle recovery, reducing tension and soreness, enhancing flexibility, and improving blood circulation.
That's not all. Stretching isn’t just for the muscles - it also helps balance your mindset, relax your mood, and relieve stress.
Give these 8 post workout stretches a go after your next sweaty session - your body will thank you for it!
- Hip Flexor
- Bring your left arm across the front of your body at about chest height.
- Support your left arm with the elbow crease of your right arm or your right hand.
- Stretch out your shoulder and continue to face forward.
- Hold stretch for up to 30 seconds and then repeat on opposite side.
- With your hands and knees on the ground, sink back through your hips to rest them on your heels.
- Hinge at your hips as you fold forward, walking your hands out in front of you.
- Rest your belly on your thighs.
- Extend your arms in front of or alongside your body with your palms facing up.
- Focus on breathing deeply and relaxing any areas of tension or tightness.
- Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.
- Lie on your stomach with your elbows underneath your shoulders and your hands extended in front, palms facing down.
- Set your feet slightly apart.
- Gently engage your lower back, buttocks, and thighs as you lift your head and chest.
- Stay strong in your lower back and abdominals, breathing deeply.
- Press your pelvis into the floor.
- Look straight ahead and hold pose for between 30 seconds and 1 minute.
- Kneel on your left knee.
- Put your right foot on the floor with your right knee at a 90-degree angle.
- Maintaining a straight back, lean your torso forward.
- Hold the position for up to 30 seconds.
- Repeat 2 to 5 times with each leg, trying to increase your stretch each time.
Lying glute stretch:
- Lie on floor or mat and bend knees with feet on floor.
- Cross lower leg over thigh of other leg.
- Grasp back of thigh of lower leg with both hands.
- Pull leg toward torso. Hold stretch for up to 30 seconds.
- Repeat with opposite leg.
Standing glute stretch:
- Stand up straight. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh, just above the knee to make a 4 shape.
- Slowly bend your left knee, moving your hips down into a squat position.
- Pause when you feel a stretch in your left glute. Hold for up to 30 seconds.
- Return to starting position and repeat stretch with opposite leg.
- Get into a seated position.
- Bend your knees and bring the soles of the feet together.
- Hold your feet with your hands and rest your elbows on your knees.
- Allow your knees to fall toward the ground while keeping your back straight. You can apply gentle pressure on the inner thigh by pressing gently on the knees with the elbows. You should feel gentle pulling and tension in the groin. Do not bounce or press down with great force.
- Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds. Release and repeat three times.
- To increase the stretch, bring the feet closer in towards your groin.
- Take a seated position and extend both legs out in front of you.
- Lift up and turn out your right leg so that your foot is resting against the inside of your left leg.
- Reach for your left foot with your left hand, ensuring you are bending from the hip. If you can reach your toe, gently pull it back towards you.
- Hold this position for up to 30 seconds.
- Repeat on your right side.
- Stand on your right leg, one knee touching the other. You can hold a chair or the wall to keep you steady if needed.
- Grab your left foot, using your left hand, and pull it towards your butt.
- Hold the position for up to 30 seconds, then repeat, switching legs.
- Stand with your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bring your left elbow straight up while bending your arm.
- Grab your left elbow with your right hand, and pull your left elbow toward your head with light pressure.
- Hold for up to 30 seconds, then switch elbows.
We also encourage foam rolling after your workout, too. Beyond its benefits in speeding up recovery time and release of muscle pain and tightness, foam rolling is a safe way to self treat your muscle soreness, and even improve on your flexibility, posture and awareness of your movements.
What’s your favourite stretch movement after a workout?